Joe Schmidt On Why Iain Henderson Only Makes The Bench Against Scotland

Champing at the bit.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has revealed that benching Iain Henderson this weekend against Scotland was purely a tactical decision.

Henderson missed the win over Wales through injury, but Schmidt says he is now back to full fitness and there’s no risk of him getting injured this weekend. He’s looking to use Henderson as an explosive option off the bench, with 20 or 30 minutes to go.

“As I said over the last couple of weeks, Iain possibly could have played against Wales, but it would have been a risk.” Schmidt said

“There is absolutely no risk of him re-injuring himself (this weekend).

“It’s just a case of trying to keep a balance. It also potentially adds a bit to our last 30 minutes, 20 minutes of the game, where an athlete like Iain Henderson can come on.”

Schmidt also noted he’s hoping having players like Andrew Porter and Jack McGrath on the bench can help Ireland finish strongly against Scotland.

“You’ve got guys like Andrew Porter who’s done very well for us starting (against Wales) and obviously (played) 77 minutes against Italy.” Schmidt added

“Jack McGrath has a cracking first 50 minutes against Italy. So we’re hoping that those guys can bring some real energy to that last quarter.”

Ireland team v Scotland:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Dan Leavy
8. CJ Stander


16. Sean Cronin
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Iain Henderson
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Joey Carbery
23. Jordan Larmour

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