Ireland Star Iain Henderson Ruled Out of South Africa Tour Due to Injury

In a major setback for the Ireland national team, veteran lock Iain Henderson has been ruled out of their two-Test tour to South Africa in July after undergoing surgery on his toe. The 81-cap second-rower’s absence will be keenly felt as Ireland look to defend their Six Nations title against the might of the world champion Springboks.

Experienced Ireland Second-Rower Iain Henderson to Miss South Africa Tour Due to Injury

In a significant blow for the Ireland national rugby union team, experienced second-rower Iain Henderson has been ruled out of their upcoming two-Test series against the world champion South Africa Springboks in July. Ulster Rugby have confirmed that the 81-cap Ireland international has undergone surgery on his toe and is expected to be sidelined for around three months.

“Iain Henderson will miss our summer tour to South Africa after undergoing toe surgery – wishing you a speedy recovery, Hendy,” read a post on the official Irish Rugby Football Union social media account.

The towering lock’s absence will be keenly felt by Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, as the Irish seek to defend their Six Nations title against the might of the Springboks. Henderson, who has been a stalwart for both his country and provincial side Ulster, played a key role in Ireland’s championship triumph earlier this year, featuring off the bench in two of their matches.

Springboks to Host Ireland in Back-to-Back Test Series

The Springboks are set to host Ireland in a back-to-back Test series on July 6 in Pretoria and July 13 in Durban, and Henderson’s injury means he will also miss the remainder of Ulster’s United Rugby Championship campaign.

With the experienced Henderson unavailable, Farrell is likely to turn to the likes of Tadhg Beirne, Joe McCarthy and James Ryan to anchor the Ireland pack, while Tom Ahern and Ryan Baird could also be given opportunities to step up in the second row.

The injury setback for Ulster is compounded by the news that centre James Hume has also undergone surgery and is entering a rehabilitation period, joining the likes of Luke Marshall, Rob Baloucoune and Steven Kitshoff on the province’s increasingly lengthy injury list.

Positive Development for Ulster as Richie Murphy Signs Contract Extension

However, there was a positive development for the northern Irish side, as they announced that Richie Murphy has signed a two-year contract to remain in charge of the senior men’s team, with the former interim head coach eager to build on the progress made at Ulster.

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