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Ireland lock sets sights on All Blacks

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/06/2016

Ireland's tour of South Africa ended in disappointment on Saturday but lock Iain Henderson is targeting more history in November as he sets his sights on the All Blacks.

Joe Schmidt's side beat the Springboks on home soil for the first time in the opening Test at Newlands but could not back that up in the subsequent Tests as they came up short by six points at Ellis Park and in Port Elizabeth.

Ireland return home after losing the series 2-1 but can take positives from the influx of new caps.

The Ulster lock already has one eye on the world champions who they face in Chicago on November 5, before Steve Hansen's side come to Dublin two weeks later.

Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks but Henderson says the time has come.

"One thing we can take from this is that as a side, even being a young side, we've made history once on this tour and there's no reason why we can't do it again," he said.

"No Irish team has ever beaten the All Blacks and I don't see any reason why we can't.

"We've got two opportunities to go and do it."

For all that they made progress in building their squad in the absence of big names like Johnny Sexton, Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney and Tommy Bowe, Ireland feel they left an opportunity to claim a historic series win behind in South Africa.

Having won the opening game despite CJ Stander's red card, they let a 16-point lead slip in the second Test and spurned a couple of try-scoring opportunities in the decider and finished the game hammering on the Springbok line.

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