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Ireland lock James Ryan feels there's plenty of options available to cover for the suspended Iain Henderson in Saturday's Six Nations clash with Italy. 

Ulster captain Henderson will sit out the visit of the Azzurri to the Aviva Stadium after being handed a three-week ban after being sent off for his province against the Ospreys.

Munster's Tadhg Beirne and Connacht duo Quinn Roux and Ultran Dillane are in contention to be picked to start by head-coach Andy Farrell and Ryan believes all three are well capable to step into the side.

"I think we're pretty well stocked in the lock position between Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Beirne and Quinn Roux, we've definitely got cover," Leinster star Ryan told reporters at a video press conference.

"I think they all add something a bit different. Tadhg is so good over the ball, a real rangy player.

"Obviously we know how powerful Hendy can be and the same can be said for Quinn Roux and I think Ultan is very athletic, very powerful on both sides of the ball.

"So whoever they go for in the lock position we're blessed that we've got some good variety there."

Ryan added that the squad are looking forward to returning to international rugby for the first time since March.

"It's a great buzz, I have to say. It feels like a long time since we've been in national camp so there's been a lot of excitement, to be honest."

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James Ryan Quinn Roux Six Nations Tadhg Beirne Ultan Dillane

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