Henderson tipped to replace O'Mahony

Date published: March 6 2014

Ulster flanker Iain Henderson is expected to replace Ireland's in-form Peter O'Mahony against Italy should the Munsterman be rested.

Ulster flanker Iain Henderson is expected to replace Ireland's in-form Peter O'Mahony against Italy should the Munsterman be rested.

O'Mahony picked up shoulder and hamstring injuries against England, with Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt possibly opting to give him an extra week's recovery time before facing France in Paris, according to reports in Ireland.

Henderson has impressed off the bench in this year's Championship with his high work-rate and would be an ideal replacement for O'Mahony's physicality in the back-row.

The inclusion of Henderson is likely to be the only change to Ireland's starting XV, although Racing Métro number ten Jonathan Sexton may also be rested after seriously injuring his thumb against England.

“Joe [Schmidt] is going to make those final calls but I'm sure that if Johnny is available he'll play,” said Irish forwards coach John Plumtree.

“Johnny by his standards wouldn't have been happy with his performance against England and he's dying to get out there.”

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