MX23RW : Saturday, November 28 02:34:47| >> :120:64094:64094:

James Ryan confident Ireland can cope with Iain Henderson absence

James Ryan confident Ireland can cope with Iain Henderson absence
© Reuters
Ulster captain Iain Henderson was shown a red card against Ospreys on October 10.

Ireland lock James Ryan insists the team are "blessed" with options in the second row as they prepare for the enforced absence of Iain Henderson.

Ulster captain Henderson will miss the remainder of his country's Guinness Six Nations campaign due to suspension following a red card against Ospreys on October 10.

Ryan and Henderson were Andy Farrell's first-choice pairing in the second row at the start of the championship.

Ireland's James Ryan, left, will be without regular second row partner Iain Henderson for the remainder of the Six Nations
Ireland's James Ryan, left, will be without regular second row partner Iain Henderson for the remainder of the Six Nations (Donall Farmer/PA)

Devin Toner, who played in the defeat to England in February when Henderson was unavailable following the birth of his son, is not in head coach Farrell's latest squad, meaning one of Tadhg Beirne, Quinn Roux or Ultan Dillane will likely partner Ryan against Italy on Saturday.

"It is a loss not having Hendy there. At the same time I think we're pretty well stocked in the lock position," Ryan said.

"Between Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Beirne, Quinn Roux we've definitely got cover there.

"I think they all add something a bit different. Tadhg is so good over the ball, a real rangy player. Obviously we know how powerful Hendy can be and the same could be said for Quinn Roux. And I think Ultan is very athletic, very powerful on both sides of the ball.

"Whoever they go for in the lock position, we're blessed that we've got some good variety there."

Ireland sit fourth in the table but only four points off joint leaders England and France and with a game in hand over their title rivals.

After hosting the pointless Italians in Dublin, they complete the campaign in Paris a week later.

A bonus-points success over the tournament's bottom side would put Ireland in a strong position to challenge for the title at the Stade de France.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has a selection dilemma in the second row
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has a selection dilemma in the second row (Adam Davy/PA)

Despite Italy having won just one of the previous 20 Six Nations clashes between the countries, Ryan is taking nothing for granted.

"When you start talking about bonus points amongst the team in the lead up to a Test match, you're not in a great place," the Leinster man said.

"You've got to respect the opposition and see what happens from there.

"We're expecting Italy to be play with real intent this week. We know we're going to have to show real intent as well to get a result."

ID:419080:cQx

Click here for more stories about James Ryan

Click here for more stories about Ireland

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Jordan Larmour in action for Ireland on August 24, 2019
Read Next:
Jordan Larmour ruled out of Ireland's remaining Six Nations games
>
Latest Sports Video

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
FA Cup
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish League Cup
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Danish Superliga
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Brasileiro
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
AFC Champions League
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Gallagher Premiership

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!