Henson on final warning at Bath
August 28, 2013
Gavin Henson takes in his new surroundings at Farleigh House © Getty Images
Henson was involved in a pub scuffle with fellow Bath team-mate Carl Fearns just a couple of weeks into his time with the Aviva Premiership side. Footage of Henson being knocked out by the England flanker appeared on the internet and the pair were handed warnings and fines by Bath.
Henson comes with plenty of package having endured controversial exits from Toulon and the Cardiff Blues but Ford hopes Henson, who is now at his sixth club, has turned the corner but admits the ex-Wales back must behave off the field.
"My heart did sink when it happened," Ford told the Independent. "I worked with Gavin on the Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005 and found him a really nice lad - shy, hard-working and very committed to his rugby. When we were reacquainted earlier in the summer, he struck me as being exactly the same.
"So yes, the incident was pretty disappointing. Basically he knows he can't be found with another drink in his hand."
And Ford revealed the players were keen for Henson to stay at Bath despite his troublesome introduction to the side. Ford added: "A massive point in all this was what the players felt about it, and they decided as a group that they wanted to help Gavin become a part of things here.
"We have a couple of other out-and-out No 10s available to us, but they're aged 20 and 21. The need for a third, experienced No 10 was obvious, so we went for Gavin, who was immediately available and had shown at London Welsh last season that he could still perform at a high level. I think we all want it to work out."
One man Henson will be vying with for the fly-half spot is George Ford, son of head coach Mike. Ford Snr admits they have discussed the ramifications of Ford Jnr being at the club and the inevitable comments surrounding favouritism but the head coach is adamant his son will be picked on form and not reputation.
"I have concerns about it, naturally," Ford Snr said. "But we've all talked it through - myself and George; myself, George and his mum; myself, George and Bruce Craig [the Bath owner]; myself and the rest of the coaching staff. We've put things in place that we think will protect the club from any charges of nepotism, and I believe we're all comfortable with the situation.
"I know some people will say things even if we win five or six on the bounce with George in the side, but I can't control that. In the end, it's important to point out that he's a bloody good player."
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