Ireland lock Iain Henderson has been cited following an incident in his comeback game for Ulster and he may miss Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Italy as a result.

Ireland have suffered from a shortage in the second row, with Henderson, Tadhg Beirne and Devin Toner all missing Six Nations games due to injuries.

Henderson came through the 80 minutes of Ulster’s hard-fought Pro14 8-0 win over Ospreys at the weekend, his first game of the year, which was a boost to Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

It was expected that he would feature against the Italians in Rome, but it has emerged that he has been cited for a dangerous clear-out from the ruck against the Welsh outfit.

After quarter of an hour at Brewry Field on Friday night Henderson attempted a clear-out, with referee Quinton Immelman awarding a penalty against the Irish international.

He has been cited under rugby’s rule 9.11 which states ‘players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others’.

It is an offence that carries a minimum two-week ban, which would rule him out of the Italy game should he be found guilty. It is understood that his hearing will be held on Tuesday in Edinburgh.