Ireland forward Iain Henderson has given a frank account of his recent concussion that he suffered in Ulster’s 64-7 defeat to Munster at Thomand Park.
Remarkably he’s back just a week after the knock, starting against Connacht, having passed the return to play protocols in the six-day minimum period.
Henderson knew he was in trouble when it came to a lineout.
“I just couldn’t remember any calls,” he said.
“I paused for 10 seconds, and I think it was Andy Warwick who asked ‘what do you want to call?’ and I was just looking at the ground. It was just bizarre, I was lost for words.”
“I was standing there, and I remember everyone was looking at the ground and a bit of panic set in because I couldn’t think of what to call, so I was like ‘just call something simple’ and I didn’t even know any simple calls.
“I couldn’t even think of the simplest lineout call and I was just standing there. Big Al O’Connor said ‘I think we’ll do this one’, and I went into the lineout and still couldn’t think of it.”
Continue reading below…
You may also like: Beyond 80 – ‘Knocked’ RugbyPass takes an unflinching look at the reality of concussion in rugby.
It was the British and Irish Lion’s first concussion of his career.
“I was well looked after,” he said. “I felt completely fine after the game and I kind of felt like saying to them ‘do I have to go through all the HIA’s protocols?’
“I felt fine and I’ve been fine through all of them.”
Henderson will be joined in the starting line-up against Connacht by Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale, who will make their first appearances of the season.
Ulster team to face Connacht:
15. Peter Nelson; 14. Angus Kernohan, 13. Angus Curtis, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Jacob Stockdale, 10. Billy Burns, 9. John Cooney; 1. Andrew Warwick, 2 Rory Best (C), 3. Tom O’Toole, 4. Alan O’Connor, 5. Iain Henderson, 6. Matthew Rea, 7. Nick Timoney, 8. Marcell Coetzee
Replacements: 16. Adam McBurney, 17. Eric O’Sullivan, 18. Ross Kane, 19. Kieran Treadwell, 20. Sean Reidy, 21. Dave Shanahan, 22. Johnny McPhillips, 23. James Hume.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now