Regular skipper Johann Muller is sidelined with a displaced fracture in his arm so 20 year old Henderson has moved into the second row alongside Dan Tuohy. Nick Williams has been promoted from the bench to fill the vacant loose forward spot.
Andrew Trimble will make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance in Saturday's encounter, following in the footsteps of Paddy Wallace and Tommy Bowe, who done so in round 2 and 3 of the competition respectively.
There is only one change on the bench which sees Neil McComb replace Williams. Ricky Lutton will make his European debut if he takes to the field at any time during Friday's game. The 26 year old development prop has made one previous appearance - as a substitute in the RaboDirect PRO12 win over Edinburgh last month.
A win against Northampton would be another massive step towards progression to the knock out stages for the third consecutive season. However, after much criticism regarding the manner of their defeat last week, Northampton will be arriving at Ravenhill determined to gain revenge.
Ulster Rugby would advise supporters coming to the game (gates open 4.00pm) to avoid parking in the immediate vicinity of the Ravenhill Grounds and that the following roads are only accessible for residents and closed to everyone else:
Ravenhill Park Gardens
There will also be parking restrictions in place in the Castlereagh area (Mount Merrion Avenue). Supporters are encouraged to make use of the Park 'n' Ride facilities at Pirrie Park and along Montgomery Road.
Your co-operation is greatly appreciated.
Remember to buy a programme at Saturday's match for all of the latest exclusive interviews and news from inside the Ulster camp and be in with a chance of winning a signed Ulster shirt!
Rising star Craig Gilroy describes his rollercoaster past six weeks which included a debut try for Ireland, and we have more news on the redevelopment of Ravenhill.
In this week's issue we get the thoughts of Ulster and former Northampton number 8 Roger Wilson, while Ulster Elite Performance Development Manager Allen Clarke talks about the eight years he spent at the Saints.
We also have in depth analysis of Northampton, ERC statistics, all the latest URSC news, as well as stories from community, club and schools rugby.
All for just £5.
We have hidden a golden ticket inside one of the programme's, with the winner taking home a signed Ulster Rugby shirt after the game.
Ulster XV & replacements to face Northampton Saints, Heineken Cup, Saturday 15th December, Ravenhill (6.00pm):
(15-9): J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, I Henderson, D Tuohy, N Williams, C Henry (capt), R Wilson;
Replacements (16-23): N Brady, C Black, R Lutton, N McComb, R Diack, P Marshall, L Marshall, C Gilroy.