Henson steers clear of Ospreys training
July 13, 2010
Gavin Henson's future remains a mystery © Getty Images
Gavin Henson was conspicuous by his absence as the Ospreys kicked off their pre-season training on Monday, with the former Wales centre steering clear of a much-anticipated return.
Henson has not played for the region since picking up an ankle injury in an Anglo-Welsh Cup tie against Gloucester in March 2009, taking a sabbatical from the game at the beginning of last season.
Reports in April suggested that Henson would be back in a black jersey before the end of the year and as a result the first day of pre-season lured a gaggle of journalists to the region's training base. Club officials were not expecting the player, however.
The Rugby World Cup, at which Henson is yet to feature, reportedly remains a draw for the former Lion but Wales coach Warren Gatland has stated that proving his fitness and form prior the 2011 Six Nations must first be his target.
Injured midfielder James Hook, along with new signing Mefin Davies, was present for a team briefing but the remainder of the Ospreys' international contingent remain on leave after featuring in the June Test tours.
"We don't want to needlessly flog the players for the sake of it, we want to make sure that the work they are doing has a purpose, with direct benefits that will help to make them better rugby players," fitness coach Mark Bennett said.
"We gave the whole squad goals and targets five weeks ago and I would expect that they have all achieved them. As a group, this will then mean we can really kick on during pre-season, putting the squad quite a way ahead of where we were at the same time last year."
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.