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Six Nations: Chris Henry looking to step up for Ireland against Wales

Last Updated: 05/02/14 3:41pm

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Chris Henry: Looking to help Ireland beat Wales

Chris Henry: Looking to help Ireland beat Wales

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Chris Henry will stick to his ball-stealing strengths in his bid to offset the loss of Sean O'Brien to Ireland's Six Nations campaign.

The Ulster flanker admitted any team would miss Leinster loose-forward O'Brien, who may not play again this season after shoulder surgery.

Henry slotted into Ireland's back-row alongside Jamie Heaslip and Peter O'Mahony for Sunday's 28-6 victory over Scotland, and is expected to start against Wales this weekend.

The 29-year-old said he will not try to mimic O'Brien's rampaging style, favouring his natural breakdown abilities instead, especially against two of the finest turnover hunters in Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate.

"Will that performance from last week be enough to beat this Welsh team? Probably not, but we're pretty realistic, we know that, we're a bit fed up with an Irish team that performs one week and then doesn't perform the next. As a group of players we want to put that to bed, deliver performances every week and get results every week."
Chris Henry

"There's always going to be a lot of talk about Sean not being there, he's one of the best in the world," said Henry.

"The only way I can approach it is to say, 'yes he's an unbelievable player, but I have to think maybe I can add something a little bit different, maybe there are certain aspects of the game I can bring that he can't'.

"Rugby's horrible in that way when people get injured when you get your opportunity.

"So for me, I certainly tried to give everything out there last week.

"Hopefully that can be enough to stay in the side, but we'll just have to wait and see."

Consistency

Henry believes Saturday's Wales clash could be completely dominated by the breakdown battle and he admitted unless Ireland can "blast out" captain Warburton and fellow scavenger Lydiate, they will struggle for control.

He said: "Whatever back-row the Welsh team put out we already know they are world-class.

"Their big thing is on defence and how quickly they get onto the poach, taking one tackler low and the other in position to get a solid threat in there.

"It's going to be something that we have to anticipate, get in there early and do a good job of blasting them out.

"Warburton's probably one of the best in the business, so we've got to be on the money.

"Starting off with a win and to play alongside the likes of Jamie and Peter was fantastic. They are both class players, and they are strong on the ball as well.

"Will that performance from last week be enough to beat this Welsh team? Probably not, but we're pretty realistic, we know that, we're a bit fed up with an Irish team that performs one week and then doesn't perform the next.

"As a group of players we want to put that to bed, deliver performances every week and get results every week."

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