Gavin Henson joins London Welsh for new Premiership season

 

Premiership new boys London Welsh have announced the signing of Wales international back Gavin Henson.

The move reunites Henson with former Ospreys coach Lyn Jones, under whom he won two Celtic League titles (2005 and 2007) during their five-year spell.

Henson, 30, has played for Saracens and Toulon since leaving the Ospreys but was sacked by Cardiff Blues in April.

Henson's controversial career

"I sincerely hope and believe he can draw a line under that period and move forward with London Welsh," said Jones.

Henson has only played a handful of games since suffering an ankle problem in the Ospreys' EDF Energy Cup quarter-final defeat by Gloucester in March 2009.

He took indefinite unpaid leave from the Welsh region before being released in October 2010 to join Saracens. But he then joined French Top 14 side Toulon in February 2011 after only four months at Saracens.

The Bridgend-born player left the south of France when Toulon cited financial pressures and his possible involvement in the World Cup as reasons for not keeping him for the 2011-12 season.

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What's important for Gavin is that he concentrates 100% on his game and learning how to become the best he can possibly be again

Lyn Jones

Henson then joined the Blues in October 2011 where he hoped to end his career, but left following the incident on a plane home from the Blues' Pro12 defeat in Glasgow.

As well as head coach Jones, Henson will also link up again at London Welsh with former Ospreys and Wales centre partner Sonny Parker, who joined the Exiles in April.

"Gavin has a great talent but over the past three or four seasons he has not realised his full potential for a number of reasons that are well documented," added Jones.

"What's important for Gavin is that he concentrates 100% on his game and learning how to become the best he can possibly be again. I think he can add a great deal to our game and we can also do a lot for him.

"We all appreciate the skills that he can bring to a game but what team-mates and coaches will be looking for is consistency of that ability.

"That's the challenge for Gavin, to hold his concentration fully on rugby as he did when he started his career, when rugby was first, second and third on his list of priorities."