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Iain Henderson To Captain British and Irish Lions

Ulster and Ireland’s Iain Henderson will captain Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions when they play the Cell C Sharks in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.

It will be the 29-year-old’s first time wearing the armband for the famous side in his second tour.

The lock forward has been Ulster captain since the start of the 2019-20 season, taking on the role after Rory Best.

He has also worn the armband at international level for Ireland – captaining the side when they lost 15-13 to France at the Aviva Stadium in this year’s Six Nations Championship.

Henderson will join an elite group of Irish captains of the Lions, with 12 Irish players achieving the honour beforehand (including Conor Murray).

Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll are examples of the Irish players that have captained the famous side before.

Henderson is only the second Irish player to captain the Lions that was not Tour Captain.

Peter O’Mahony started the first test against New Zealand in 2017 ahead of Tour Captain Sam Warburton and was given the armband in his absence.

Henderson’s achievement will come 101 years after the first-ever Irish Lions captain led the side out against South Africa.

Tommy Smyth is the beginning of an illustrious list that includes those mentioned above as well as full-back Tom Kiernan and lock Willie John McBride, who toured with the Lions five times and is currently the most-capped player for the side.

Iain Henderson will etch his name onto that list on Wednesday evening when he leads the side out against the Sharks in Johannesburg.

The lock will captain a side that includes Connacht and Ireland centre Bundee Aki at 12.

Four Irish players are expected to come off the bench in the midweek game – Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan and Conor Murray.

Click here to see the Lions’ matchday 23 to face the Sharks.

The game will be available to watch on Sky Sports.


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