Strictly topped Grand Slam success - Henson
January 13, 2011
Henson has recently returned to rugby with Premiership side Saracens © PA Photos
Gavin Henson has sparked fresh controversy by declaring that his recent appearance on the Strictly Come Dancing television show was a better experience than winning the Six Nations with Wales.
The 28-year-old, who recently ended 20 months in the rugby wilderness by signing with Aviva Premiership side Saracens, also hit out at his former side Ospreys in a wide-ranging interview with the Evening Standard newspaper.
Henson, who hit the headlines in 2005 following comments about his team-mates in his book My Grand Slam Year, is set to infuriate his team-mates once again with his gushing comments about his recent TV appearance. "To get a standing ovation and to get to the semi-finals was a great feeling. It tops any rugby moment, even winning the Six Nations," said Henson, who has won the Grand Slam twice - in 2005 and 2008.
Capped 31 times by Wales and a British & Irish Lion in 2005, Henson also criticsed his former regional home for refusing to let him respond to critics, including former dual code international Jonathan Davies who he believes was allowed a "free ride".
"He's a legend and he's entitled to his opinion, but that is part of the reason why I left the country," Henson said. "People like that, with those opinions, drove me out of Wales. It is not needed now. I am trying my best. I would argue that I have got a good record when playing for Wales.
"I got a lot of stick in the Welsh media. It is hard to understand quite what I had done so badly there. The media in Wales don't understand me. They treat me like an unwanted son. So I said 'enough is enough, I need to be out of Wales'.
"One of the reasons I went on the programme was so that people could see the real guy, have a fair idea of the person I am. It was a conscious decision. Now when rubbish is written about me, at least they will have their own perception of me."
Despite failing to find his best form since his return to action, Henson was called for fitness testing prior to the Six Nations and is determined to prove his worth ahead of the World Cup.
"I do not feel I have been away that long, rugby is still the same by the looks of it. I think all my skills are there. I just need game time," he said. "I never been to the World Cup, I've always missed out through non selection. It is a tough one to bear. I will do everything I can to make the World Cup squad. I have hardly played but I would like to think I will be good when I play."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action