Henson wants out of Ospreys
September 10, 2010
Gavin Henson has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing © Getty Images
Gavin Henson has instructed solicitors to negotiate an end to his Ospreys contract with reports suggesting he is set for a move to Premiership side London Wasps.
The Wales and British & Irish Lions international, who has not played any rugby for 18 months due to injury and a self-imposed sabbatical from the game, most recently signed up to appear in BBC reality TV show Strictly Come Dancing which ruled out an immediate return to the game. But he has since expressed his desire to lace up his boots again ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.
"I have had a tough couple of months with my personal life and career-wise with my rugby team," Henson told The Guardian. "It is all up in the air and all in the hands of solicitors. It is a pity but I have to do this now [Strictly Come Dancing]. I really wanted to be back on the rugby field and I will do so after learning how to dance."
Henson has been with Ospreys since the region's inception in 2003 but looks destined to resume his playing career in England with The Times reporting that a Premiership switch is on as long as an agreement can be reached over compensation. The 28-year-old Grand Slam winner, who won the last of his 32 Test caps against Ireland in the 2009 Six Nations, is contracted to the region for another year.
Ospreys declined to comment on the issue of Henson's possible departure, insisting that, "The door is still open for him to play here."
Scott Johnson, Ospreys' director of rugby, told the The Guardian he did not know what Henson intended to do, having only had one conversation with him in more than a year. "I respect Gavin's privacy and will not reveal what we talked about," said Johnson.
"I am still in the dark about where it all sits. I have a duty of care to the players who are here and I am focused on that. If Gavin wants to take up our offer to come back, we will open the door for him with ease. He has not approached me to talk about his future. Whether he has approached others is up to them. Gavin and I shook hands and he has yet to walk through my door."
Wasps issued a statement aimed at quashing speculation of a high-profile squad addition, saying, "Further to speculation and inaccurate reports in the media, London Wasps can confirm that no further signings have been made to their 2010/11 squad. The Club remains fully focused on tonight's game, facing Newcastle at Kingston Park, and will make no further comment on this matter."
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter