Johnson leaves door open for Henson
July 30, 2010
Gavin Henson has not played since injuring his Achilles against Gloucester last year © Getty Images
Ospreys director of coaching Scott Johnson has reiterated that the door remains open for Gavin Henson to resume his playing career with the region.
Former Wales star Henson has not played competitive rugby since suffering an ankle injury in the Ospreys' EDF Energy Cup final defeat by Gloucester in March of last year. The player has had to deal with a number of off-field issues in the interim, including the collapse of his marriage to singer Charlotte Church. There have also been rumours that he is more keen to embrace the world of celebrity and it has been reported that he will appear on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
However, rumours are rife that Henson is finally ready to return to the game and he recently expressed an interest in resurrecting his career in either France or England ahead of next year's World Cup. Johnson is hopeful, though, that if Henson does attempt a comeback that he will do so with the Ospreys. However, the Australian revealed that he has had no contact with the former British & Irish Lion since last year.
"I think that he made a decision last year and we left it on good terms in the fact that when he was prepared to, if he wanted to play footy, he could come back knocking on our door and that hasn't happened yet," the Australian told BBC Sport Wales' The Back Page. "So it's not disappointing. He's got other issues in his life and we've discussed that at the time and I take that as life hasn't changed.
"Life moves on, you know, and you've got to and I've got another quite a number of players I've got to look after and if Gavin wants to come back and talk about rugby, well our door's open. At that stage and at this stage it hasn't occurred so I've got responsibilities to others.
"From our perspective, like I said, the last meeting I had with Gav everything was laid on the table and he needed to do things in his life. We appreciate that and part of that is privacy and I'm not one of those people that need to go back.
"If Gavin wants to come back and talk to us, the door's open and he's been an Osprey since the inception. We honour that so we don't need to sit on someone's back an annoy them. The lad made a decision for personal reasons and we'll respect that.
"And until a conversation that comes differently, we don't give him another thought because we can't - it would show disrespect for the current group that are here. But at no time have we shown disrespect to Gavin. So the door's open, but we haven't heard anything.
"I had a conversation with Gavin. I will honour my part of it and I'll let the lad honour his and I'll respect his privacy and his wishes. I coach the kid. When he's willing to come and talk about rugby my door's open so at the end of the day we get on with our work and that's what we've got to do."
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry