From llamas to Springsteen, find out more about the lock/six hybrid
Who is Iain Henderson: Ten things you should know about the Ireland lock
Iain Henderson was due to study maths in Edinburgh when he was offered a place in Ulster’s academy. He switched to Queen’s University in Belfast and the rugby honours that have followed since would suggest he made the right decision.
The Ireland lock was selected for the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and the Lions 2021 tour to South Africa.
Ten things you should know about Iain Henderson
1. Iain Henderson was born in Craigavon, County Armagh, near Lough Neagh, on 21 February 2021.
2. He attended Belfast Royal Academy, where legendary Ireland fly-half Jack Kyle was also an alumni.
3. One of his nicknames is ‘Llama’ because of a lock of hair which sometimes blocks his eyesight. His father used to call him Herr Flick, after the ‘Allo ‘Allo! character.
4. Having represented Ireland at U19 and U20 level, he made his debut for Ulster in April 2012 against provincial rivals Connacht. They lost 26-21, a first defeat by the Galway-based province since 2005.
5. He made his Test debut only seven months later in November against South Africa. Ireland lost 16-12 following a try from Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar.
6. Henderson told The Times he was still living in student housing a year before his Ireland debut and recalled messing around with snakes and chickens in the home.
7. After Rory Best’s retirement, Henderson was named captain of Ulster for the 2019-20 season.
8. His musical hero is Bruce Springsteen, with the 1975 hit Born to Run his favourite track.
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9. He won a reputation for having ‘hollow legs’ on the 2017 Lions tour – with him and Rory Best leading the Lions’ drinking efforts in the bar.
10. Henderson captained Ireland for the first time on Valentine’s Day 2021, leading the side in their second match of the Six Nations against France.
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