Iain Henderson has been appointed Ulster Rugby Club Captain for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
The 27-year-old, who has represented his home province on 105 occasions, started his rugby career at Academy RFC, before continuing his development at Belfast Royal Academy.
He later played in the Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy along with Queen’s University RFC and Ballynahinch RFC, before making his senior provincial debut against Connacht in April 2012.
The versatile player has won 44 Ireland caps to date. He played in four of Ireland’s games during the 6 Nations Grand Slam success in 2018, and also featured in 2014 and 2015 Championship wins, while also toured New Zealand as part of the Lions squad in 2017.
Commenting on the honour of being named Club Captain, Henderson said:
“I’m incredibly proud and excited to be appointed as Club Captain. I had a good chat with Dan (McFarland) and I think we’re closely aligned in terms of how we see Ulster moving forward. I’ve got massive boots to fill with Rory (Best) outgoing, but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”
Commenting on the appointment, Ulster Head Coach, Dan McFarland, said:
“Iain has a deep love for his province. He understands exactly what it means to wear the Ulster jersey and this rubs off on those around him. As a leader, he has demonstrated his ability to command respect through his professionalism and talismanic play. Asking Iain to be captain was not a difficult decision and because he is surrounded by a squad of good men, I know that he will flourish.”
Henderson is expected to be part of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan which will be named soon.