Ireland could lose fit again Iain Henderson to suspension
This is not what Ireland need at all, and Henderson will be gutted if he misses out.
The weekend's Guinness PRO14 action saw several Ireland internationals released back to their provinces to get some game-time. All four provinces won their matches and all are in playoff places heading into the final few months of the season.
One of the most impressive Irish victories came at Brewery Field as Ulster toughed it out for an 8-0 victory over Ospreys. Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave performed well in midfield while Iain Henderson returned from his finger injury to play the full 80 minutes.
Henderson made 12 carries and 17 tackles in a good hit-out and he is expected to be included in Ireland's squad - named on Tuesday - for the Guinness Six Nations round three fixture against Italy.
Andrew Trimble and Jenny Murphy discussed the return of the Ulster lock on the latest episode of Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby (from 3:00 below) and touched on an incident from Friday night's game that could put his participation in that Italy game in doubt.
"John Cooney and Jordi Murphy got a bit of game-time (80 minutes)," noted Trimble, "and so did Iain Henderson. He got penalised for a bit of a neck roll and we're hoping nothing comes from it."
That incident came when Henderson was clearing Ospreys openside Sam Cross from a ruck. He teamed up with Murphy to lift Cross out of it but the momentum of his team-mate resulted in the flanker landing badly on the top of his head.
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Henderson was fortunate to avoid a card in the game but the likelihood is that the independent commissioner may cite the lock. Ospreys, too, have the option to cite any incidents in the game they feel deserve closer scrutiny.
Ireland will bring Henderson down to Carton House to incorporate him back into the senior squad. Joe Schmidt will be hoping the 26-year-old will avoid any ban (there could be a hearing midweek).
Should Henderson be suspended, Schmidt may choose to pair James Ryan and Quinn Roux, who started against Scotland, although Ultan Dillane was named man-of-the-match for Connacht in their win over Cheetahs.