Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Gavin & Saracens

It was announced today that Gavin Henson has been released from the Ospreys and has joined the Watford based team Saracens.

Henson has not played since picking up an ankle injury in a match against Gloucester in the month of March 2009, and has been on unpaid leave from the Ospreys since then.

Often recognised more for his life off the pitch, Gavin stated that he wanted to move away from Ospreys and his home in South Wales. Ideally moving to London so that he could be nearer to his children after his divorce with Charlotte Church.

Saracens answered his call and offered him the chance to play in the London area, with him joining fully once he is finished in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Rugby fans across Wales and the World will be happy to see him back on the rugby and playing regularly. But he will have a lot to prove.

Henson hasn't played competitive rugby in 19 months, and whilst he says that he has been keeping fit, it will be interesting to see how quickly he makes the starting VX for Saracens.

Gavin HensonImage via Wikipedia
Many people see Henson as an overrated, or 'luxury' player, often saying that all he's done in his career was 'that' tackle and 'that' penalty. Both of which were in 2005.

To prove them wrong Henson must put in a number of quality performances for Saracens, and then hopefully Wales.

It will be interesting to see how Henson plays, firstly which position will he play, as he is more than capable as a fly-half, inside centre or full back. Secondly to see if he will still walk onto the pitch with fake tan, hair gel and silver boots.

At 28 will he try and keep a low profile and just focus on playing rugby, or will he want to be the centre of attention again?

There will always be a lot of media attention surrounding Henson, but I hope he starts to make the headlines for right reasons.

The biggest issue could be his injury history. Henson had constant injury trouble towards the end of his playing time with the Ospreys, but after a long break hopefully he will have fully recovered and be able to stay clear of long term injuries.

With the 2011 World Cup looming it is putting pressure on all players to prove themselves and warrant selection to represent their countries in Rugby Unions biggest tournament.

Henson may face an uphill battle to make it, but it is great to finally see that he has joined a club and to have an end to the speculation.

Now all he can do is to try his best to force his way back into the Wales national side, and I wish him all the best.