Gavin Henson sacked by Cardiff Blues over flight incident

Cardiff Blues have sacked Gavin Henson after an inquiry into his alcohol-fuelled misbehaviour on a Saturday flight from Glasgow to Cardiff.

"Gavin admitted himself that his behaviour was totally unacceptable," said chief executive Richard Holland.

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For Gavin to be hung dry like this is inexcusable

Lyn Jones Henson's former Ospreys coach

"The immediate termination of his contract sends out a clear message that behaviour like that will not be tolerated at the Blues."

Airline Flybe has also banned Henson from flying with them for six months.

However, some members of the rugby world said Henson's dismissal was not consistent with the punishments handed to other players.

Henson was initially suspended over the incident following the Blues' 31-3 defeat by Glasgow and he subsequently issued a public apology.

Holland added: "We have a duty to our supporters and sponsors to protect the good name of Cardiff Blues and those associated with our brand.

"Gavin Henson is obviously a talented rugby player and it's unfortunate that his career at the Blues has ended this way.

"However, we would like to thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck with his future career."

Analysis

"The first thing is that it's very sad, because Cardiff Blues gave him an opportunity and he's kind of messed it up again.

"As the club have said, they have got a responsibility to their supporters and in this professional age, the sponsors.

"He seems to have blown another opportunity.

"I'm not surprised because it is a professional game now and you've got to act accordingly."

But Henson's former coach at the Ospreys, Lyn Jones, told BBC Sport: "For Gavin to be hung out to dry like this is inexcusable.

"They could have invited Gavin in today to explain himself," added the former Wales international. "But he wasn't invited into the hearing. He was sacked on the spot.

"They decided to make an example of him, which is fine, but now they need to be consistent with this, right throughout the sport."

Former Wales centre Tom Shanklin said: "It's been blown out of all proportion but that's what you get when you're a household name.

"He is a professional sportsman and he shouldn't have been drinking at 7am on a flight home."

But Shanklin added: "I feel sorry for him - to exit the Blues on this note is wrong. Calum Clark breaking an arm and Dylan Hartley biting. These are far worse things but unfortunately this might be an excuse for Cardiff to get rid of him."

The decision sees the 30-year-old's planned eight-month deal with Cardiff halted four weeks before it was due to end and leaves Henson unemployed.

Gavin Henson fact-file

  • Born: 1 February 1982; Bridgend
  • Positions: Fly-half, centre, full-back
  • Clubs: Swansea, Ospreys, Saracens, Toulon, Cardiff Blues
  • Test honours: 33 Wales caps, 1 Lions cap

A two-time Grand Slam winner with Wales, Henson has struggled to cement a regular place in club rugby since injuring his ankle in March 2009 and taking 18 months unpaid leave from the Ospreys five months later.

He joined Saracens in October 2010, but played only four games for the Premiership side before asking for his contract to be terminated to allow him to join Toulon.

Since moving back to Wales, he has played eight matches and failed to score a try.

His last international appearance was in Wales' 19-9 victory over England at the Millennium Stadium in August.