Gavin Henson: I’m hoping to play for another eight years

The 28-year-old insists he still has what it takes to play at the top level after nearly two years away from rugby

By Jerome Butcher & Martin Caparrotta
gavin henson
Henson is set to make his Saracens debut against Wasps on Sunday (Photo: Martin Caparrotta)

gavin henson

After 21 months away from rugby Gavin Henson believes he still has what it takes to continue playing at the top level for another eight years.

The former Ospreys star hung up his boots indefinitely in March 2009 after struggling with a series of injuries and personal problems.

Since then he has taken part in two reality television shows before opting to return to the sport in the Autumn when he signed for Saracens after having negotiated his release from the Ospreys.

His return was delayed by his participation in BBC show Strictly Come Dancing but the 28-year-old, who took part in some light training at Wembley on Monday ahead of Saracens’ Aviva Premiership clash with Wasps on Sunday, insists he is now back in the sport for the long haul.

“I’m thinking positive,” said Henson, who is set to make his eagerly-anticipated Saracens debut on Sunday. “I’m back in rugby for good now. I look after myself and I’m hoping I can play for another eight years.

“I’m feeling really positive about the game and I’m enjoying it again when I’ve been training. I just hope I’m going to be good. I might not be, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Henson, who has not played for Wales since helping his country clinch the grand slam in 2008, is also hoping to earn a recall to the national side in time for the Six Nations in February.

“The bigger picture for me is the Six Nations and trying to get in that Wales squad,” he said. “It’s all really exciting and we’ll just have to wait and see.

“When I did finish with the Ospreys for the first six or seven months out I didn’t miss rugby at all to be honest.

“But then luckily I just got those feelings back and I started dreaming about playing again. The more I trained, the better I felt about myself and the more I felt positive about rugby again.”

And he is also not ruling out the possibility of playing for Wales at the World Cup in New Zealand next autumn. “I’ve missed out the last couple of times with the World Cup,” he added. “That’s obviously missing on my CV so I’ll do everything in my power to try and get in that squad.”

Henson admits he found it difficult to cope with the media attention following his split with fiancee Charlotte Church and chose to move away from Wales as a result.

He added: “It was tough for me with what was going on with Charlotte [Church], I was cut to pieces about it. I just felt the right move was to move out of Wales and hopefully be appreciated again.

“I didn’t really know what I had done wrong but a bit of time away in London will be good for me.”

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