Thursday, September 17, 2009
Welsh centre Gavin Henson has been under the spotlight recently as news hit that he's been given indefinite leave from his club, the Ospreys. Still only 28, Henson is an incredibly talented player who's career never quite lived up to expectations.
One of the most naturally gifted rugby players around, Henson has at times showed that he's had the potential to be a great. It never seemed to last long though unfortunately, as injury seemed to continually strike him down.
He made his international debut for Wales at the age of just 19. He later played for the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand, and has been a stalwart of the Ospreys. He's won two Grand Slams with Wales, but unfortunately has never appeared in a World Cup.
A bit of a tabloid favourite, many feel that his off-field relationship, with a high profile and extremely wealthy singer, has hampered his hunger and desire as a player.
Recently it was announced that Henson wants to retire from rugby completely. It turned out to be a bit of a rumour, with the man himself saying that he was unsure what he wants. Welsh coach Warren Gatland says it would be a tragedy if Henson quits the game right now.
"It would be tragedy if we lose someone of his ability to the game, from a regional and international point of view," Gatland said.
"But I dont want to treat Gavin in a special way, I dont want to treat him any differently to anyone else. It is up to him to get himself right, back to the Ospreys training and playing and getting himself right for Wales."
"Gavin is such an obvious and rare talent that we would hate in five years time to be talking about him as a player who never fulfilled his potential.
"I am conscious of not stepping on the Ospreys toes. If I did speak to him it would be only proper that I spoke to the Ospreys first. But I will give it a few weeks first to see if there is any hope of him coming back.
"I have always said he is a fantastic player and that when fit and right he is one of the best in the world in his position. But it is up to him now," Gatland concluded.
So what is the deal with Gavin Henson? Will we see him again? We sure hope so.
The dirty stuff from Cardiff
Gavin Henson knocks down Shane Horgan
Gavin Henson tackle on 18 year old Matthew Tait