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Henderson 'proud and excited' to succeed Best as Ulster's new club captain

Dan McFarland said it wasn’t a difficult decision to appoint Henderson as skipper for the 2019/20 season.

IAIN HENDERSON HAS been appointed to succeed Rory Best as Ulster’s new club captain for the 2019/20 season.

The Ireland second row has captained his province on a number of occasions before, but takes over the role on a permanent basis following the retirement of long-serving Best. 

Iain Henderson Henderson takes over from Best as Ulster captain. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Having come up through the Ulster academy, Henderson has won 105 senior appearances for the northern province since making his debut against Connacht in 2012.

The 27-year-old, currently part of Ireland’s World Cup preparations, emerged as the outstanding candidate to replace Best in the role, having become a key player for both club and country.

Henderson has won 44 Test caps for Ireland and toured New Zealand with the Lions in 2017. 

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland said it was an easy decision to hand the armband to the Craigavon native. 

“Iain has a deep love for his province. He understands exactly what it means to wear the Ulster jersey and this rubs off on those around him,” McFarland commented.

As a leader, he has demonstrated his ability to command respect through his professionalism and talismanic play.

“Asking Iain to be captain was not a difficult decision and because he is surrounded by a squad of good men, I know that he will flourish.”

Henderson added: “I’m incredibly proud and excited to be appointed as club captain. I had a good chat with Dan and I think we’re closely aligned in terms of how we see Ulster moving forward.

“I’ve got massive boots to fill with Rory outgoing, but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”

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Ryan Bailey

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