European Challenge Cup: Ulster wait for Henderson fitness report ahead of Northampton tie

Sean Reidy scores a try for Ulster
Sean Reidy scores one of his two tries during Ulster's comprehensivee win over Harlequins

Ulster coach Dan McFarland says the Irish province are keeping skipper Iain Henderson's fitness under review "day by day" ahead of Saturday's Challenge Cup quarter-final against Northampton.

The second row missed Sunday's convincing eight-try 57-21 victory over Harlequins with a shoulder knock sustained in Ireland's Six Nations win over England in Dublin last month.

"We won't know until into the week if Iain will be fit," said McFarland.

"We have been struggling for locks."

"Hendy and Sam Carter have been out and Cormac [Izuchukwu] came off on Sunday. His injury didn't look great, which is disappointing as he had two massive carries," he added.

McFarland admitted that his squad had to readjust their mindset somewhat on Friday after Harlequins opted to omit several of their frontline players for the last 16 tie at The Stoop.

"When you have it in your mind that you are preparing to face a really strong team and then it changes there naturally has to be a renewed sense of having to take the game seriously," admitted the Ulster coach.

"We set about our business and found a couple of ways of putting them under pressure and going after them.

"The driving maul was one of those and keeping the ball through the phases was another. We did a pretty good job.

"I'd imagine Northampton are not going to rest players the way Quins did - whether we are labelled favourites or not we have got to go and do a job at Franklin's Gardens.

"It looked like Dragons were going to beat them on Saturday but Saints had a remarkable resurgence.

"They are a good quality, attacking team with some big threats so it will be a big challenge for us on a six-day turnaround."

Jordi Murphy
Jordi Murphy was sin-binned during Ulster's win over Harlequins

'We are in it to win it'

Ulster back row Jordi Murphy added that the northern province will "have to keep that ruthless edge" when they travel to face Northampton on Saturday.

"Trophies are what we are after so we are in this competition to do as well as we can and try to win it," said Murphy.

"We are fully focused on it, 100% in the competition and we will have to be at our very best next weekend to put ourselves in the mix."

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