Ireland lock Iain Henderson has met the full wrath of the online rugby world after receiving a three-week ban for his red card last weekend which rules him out of his country Six Nations title bid in the coming weeks.


The lock was shown red by referee Mike Adamson in the 75th minute of Ulster’s Guinness PRO14 victory over the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium for making contact with the chin of Dan Evans with his shoulder in a ruck. 

It was a piece of foul play that was slated at the time for being needless and idiotic. Now, after being handed a three-week ban on Thursday that prohibits his involvement in the resumption of the Ireland Six Nations campaign, Henderson has faced further criticism online. 

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The red card was invariably labelled as pointless and stupid as it was a clear-out at a ruck that had absolutely no impact or bearing on the game.

The referee was mere feet away from it as well, so there was little chance Henderson would have got away with it. The Irishman had absolutely no defence either, as his shoulder went directly into the face of Evans. 

Comparisons were made between this challenge and that of Exeter Chiefs lock Jonny Hill on Taulupe Faletau last weekend. While that was only a yellow card offence and was not deemed worthy of a ban, the brunt of HIll’s force was to the back of the opponent. 


Henderson’s shoulder, in contrast, made direct and obvious contact with the jaw of Welshman Evans. Such idiocy had now resulted in the 28-year-old missing the conclusion of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign against Italy and France. It could even have been worse for the Ulster captain as he was initially given a six-week ban that was reduced due to his good disciplinary record. 

The PRO14 statement read: “The player’s clean disciplinary record, co-operation throughout the process and remorse shown warranted mitigation of fifty per cent, bringing his ban to three weeks. The player is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9.”

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