European stage excites Ulster’s Iain Henderson

Date published: November 12 2019

Ulster second-row Iain Henderson admits he can’t wait to test himself against Europe’s best in the Champions Cup, which kicks off this weekend.

The Ireland international, who recently returned from Rugby World Cup duty in Japan, is now set to turn his focus to European matters.

Pooled with Bath, Clermont and Harlequins, Ulster are in a tricky group but Henderson revealed that is an exciting proposition for him.

“No matter what group you are in, you are always in a tough group in the Champions Cup,” the versatile Ulster star said to EPC Rugby.

“So, I think that’s probably what adds to the excitement around it and if your team is to do well, they have to be performing at the top of their game, whoever you are. That’s probably the biggest buzz around it.

“Playing against teams that you don’t get to play against in your own domestic competition is massive. I think for a lot of the players, they wouldn’t get the chance to play against a lot of the other players and for them to do that, it’s an opportunity to showcase themselves on one of the biggest stages in rugby.”

Ulster kick off their campaign with a trip to the Recreation Ground on Saturday and while Henderson is excited, he also feels the fans are in a similar boat whenever this high-profile competition rolls around.

“The fans love it, because it’s very special for them to get to see us performing against teams that they only get to watch playing against different teams,” he said.

“So, I think that just adds to the general excitement and the fans at the Kingspan Stadium love seeing different teams coming over.”