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'Iain has left Ireland camp': Henderson tests positive

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Ireland’s preparations for their Guinness Six Nations round three game at home to Italy have hit another bump in the road as Iain Henderson became the second Ulster player chosen in this week’s squad to pull out. Andy Farell named a 38-strong Ireland squad on Monday to prepare for next Sunday’s Aviva Stadium match, but preparations haven’t passed off without a hitch with Henderson the latest forward to be ruled out. 

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It was Tuesday when the IRFU confirmed that prop Tom O’Toole had pulled out due to a hamstring issue picked up when playing at the weekend for Ulster in their URC win at Dragons. Now, his provincial colleague Henderson has been sent packing after he encountered a week-ruining virus result.  

An IRFU statement on Wednesday afternoon read: “Iain Henderson produced a positive covid result during the routine testing of squad and management upon arrival into camp on Monday evening.

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The positive result has since been confirmed.  Iain is well and has left Ireland camp to complete his period of isolation at home. There are no other positive results within the group and the squad will continue to test across the week.”

Henderson, the two-time Lions tourist who has 66 Ireland caps, came off the bench in the recent round two loss to France in Paris, temporarily replacing James Ryan just before the interval and then returning in the second half after another sub Peter O’Mahony took a blow to the head.    

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