Henson eyes World Cup return
September 7, 2010
Gavin Henson is eyeing the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
Gavin Henson has set his sights on the 2011 Rugby World Cup, highlighting rugby's showpiece event as the one thing missing from his CV.
The Wales centre has been out of rugby since March 2009, taking unpaid leave from the Ospreys after a string of demoralising injury problems. He was left out of the region's Magners League squad after failing to appear for pre-season and had been linked with a move to England.
Now, his participation in a reality TV show appears to have rekindled his rugby ambitions.
"I've never been to a Rugby World Cup. The next is 2011 and I'm thinking about training for that," Henson told BBC Sport. "Hopefully I can get back into rugby, do well and get into the World Cup squad. It's the one thing that is not on my CV.
"Being in a team environment and the competition element just made me realise what I was missing. All those positive thoughts have come back and I'm not too old to make a comeback - if I leave it any longer I'll be too old.
"I'm pretty competitive I suppose, well I was when I was playing rugby. I lost it the last year in rugby and that's probably why I've taken time out to get my hunger back. This is probably the first step on the ladder to getting my rugby career back."
Henson's return has been an ongoing media saga, with Wales coach Warren Gatland having kept tabs on his movements. Under Gatland, Henson played a major role in Wales' 2008 Grand Slam but the Kiwi coach insists that if he is to make an international return then it must be sooner rather than later.
"If he's going to put himself in the frame it's got to be sooner rather than later," he said. "If it's not until the new year it's potentially going to be too late - he's been out of the game for a while.
"I haven't spoken to Gavin but it would be great to see him back on the rugby field. I had a quick conversation with him last year and we were going to meet up but we didn't. I have spoken to his agent and I just think it's a loss for the game. He's a talented player."
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker