Henry boost for Ulster
May 14, 2012
Ulster's Heineken Cup chances have been boosted by the return to fitness of flanker Chris Henry © Getty Images
Ulster have received a timely boost ahead of their Heineken Cup Final showdown with Leinster on Saturday with the news that flanker Chris Henry will be fit for the game.
Henry, who was named Ulster's Player of the Year last week and is in line to tour New Zealand with Ireland next month, suffered an ankle injury during his side's RaboDirect PRO12 defeat to Leinster last month and has been sidelined ever since. But having missed his side's semi-final victory over Edinburgh, Henry is now raring to go against their provincial rivals.
"I feel confident that I'll be ready in time," said Henry, who according to coach Brian McLaughlin has been Ulster's most consistent player during his tenure with the side. "I travelled with the squad to Portugal earlier this week, and although I trained by myself most of the time with some of the back-room staff, everything came on really well. With another week to go before the game I will get myself right up to speed and will be throwing my hat into the ring for selection."
Ulster lock Dan Tuohy is another relishing the chance to upset the odds and beat double-chasing Leinster. "This is as big as it gets - club wise is does not get any bigger than a Heineken Cup final - the magnitude of this game is just massive," said Tuohy. "We have had to wait 13 years to get into another Heineken Cup final but the atmosphere is fairly relaxed and there is enough experience in the squad to keep the boys feet firmly on the ground as we have not achieved anything just yet," he said.
"Leinster did the double over us in this season's PRO12 but I don't think that makes them favourites for the final. What does make them favourites is having won two Heineken Cup finals in the last three years and while we are no illusions that we will be the underdogs, I think that suits us just fine.
"We were the underdogs when we went down to Munster in the quarter-finals and delivered but I think the pressure got to us a bit in the semi-final against Edinburgh at the Aviva and we did not play to our full potential. It wasn't until the home Pool game against Leicester that we really put in an 80 minutes performance and got people up on their feet realising we are a force to be reckoned with but that Munster game was the key.
"As we will be the underdog on Saturday I think you will see us as a different animal as the pressure is on them as favourites to win the final."
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