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It's impossible for Kidney to ignore young Ulster stars - Ian Humphreys

The London Irish out-half has predicted bright international futures for his former teammates.

Ian Humphreys and Craig Gilroy combine to tackle Jonny Sexton in 2011.
Ian Humphreys and Craig Gilroy combine to tackle Jonny Sexton in 2011.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

FORMER ULSTER OUT-HALF Ian Humphreys believes new Ireland caps Craig Gilroy and Iain Henderson can form the spine of an Ireland team to challenge for the 2015 World Cup.

Henderson, who made his debut against South Africa, and Gilroy both featured in the 46-24 win over Argentina while Luke Marshall and Paddy Jackson excelled against Fiji at Thomond Park.

Humphreys, who spent four seasons with Ulster before a summer move to London Irish, is delighted that the young stars from his home province are making their mark on the international stage.

He told TheScore.ie, “I was speaking to Gilly [Gilroy] during the week, saying congratulations. It was good to see him get his score.

“He has been around for a few years and was always going to get a chance. He did and he certainly took it.”

“I’m glad that Luke Marshall is getting his chance too,” Humphreys added. “He broke into the Ulster team a couple of years back and has really kicked on.”

Unbeaten run

Ulster have not lost a competitive match since their Heineken Cup Final loss against Leinster in May.

Humphreys conceded, earlier in the season, that he sought the move to Premiership rugby in England as it became apparent that young out-half Paddy Jackson was being groomed for the number 10 jersey.

Jackson kicked 13 points in the 53-0 mauling of Fiji while Henderson, who also featured, has already been described as the heir apparent to Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris. Humphreys said:

Ulster are doing so well that it’s impossible for Declan Kidney to ignore them.”

Gilroy, Henderson, Jackson and Marshall have all been named in Ulster’s extended squad to face Llanelli Scarlets on Sunday.

Also included is Darren Cave, who scored a try against the Fijians, and captain Johann Muller.

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Patrick McCarry

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