Can Gavin Henson get back in the Wales team this Autumn?October 23 2014
Gavin Henson’s talent has never been in doubt. Who will ever forget that phenomenal match winning 48m kick against England at the Millennium Stadium in 2005? He is a versatile player most comfortable playing at full back, fly half or inside centre with a strong defensive work rate (Mathew Tait was given the nickname Henson’s Handbag after two massive tackles during the aforementioned match) and he has a truly creative flair which is sometimes lacking in the drill punished players of today.
From the early days of his career when he won the International Rugby Board’s Young payer of the Year in 2001, he has always been one to watch - sadly not always for the right reasons.
Henson’s best days were during his 98 cap period for the Ospreys during which time he played for Wales and the British Lions.
His 2005 autobiographical account of the Lions tour was met with widespread dismay by his teammates and he was forced to apologise unreservedly to all concerned. Henson took an 18 months sabbatical from the game in 2009/10 and pursued other interests most notably 71 Degrees North where he battled through a serious of physical endurance style tests against other contestants in freezing Norway and eventually came second. Since then he has had periods at Saracens, RC Toulonnas, London Welsh, Cardiff Blues and now Bath where he won Man of the Match against the Dragons on Saturday.
In June 2011 Gavin Henson played for Wales against the Barbarians and gave such a solid performance that Warren Gatland named him as part of the 45 man preliminary 2011 World Cup squad. In August he showed flashes of his unique brand of brilliance in a warm up game against England, but sadly it all ended with a dislocated wrist needing surgery and once again he was out of the game.
He has been dogged by injuries and controversy through the years and now with the recent news that Lyn Jones is not bringing him home to Wales to play for the Newport Dragons in the new season alongside returning Lee Byrne and Aled Brew, the future is looking ever more bleak for Henson. Can he ever receive the ultimate phone call from Warren Gatland and eventually get the Rugby World Cup place that has long alluded him? What do you think? Does Gavin Henson deserve another chance to wear the famous Welsh Rugby shirt? Can he finally be able to show the full depth of his talent before his playing days run out?