London Irish reveal interest in Gavin Henson

London Irish have emerged as the first and possibly only Premiership club to go public with their interest in signing Gavin Henson from the Ospreys.

London Wasps denied last week that they were interested in Henson who said last week that he wanted to leave the Ospreys for a fresh start in England.

Henson revealed that he wanted to get away from Wales to help him get over the break up between him and his former fiance Charlotte Church.

Henson has been on unpaid leave from the Ospreys since March 2009 and has now told them he wants to leave the Welsh region for “compassionate reasons” and for his “mental state of mind”.

The 2005 British and Irish Lion wants to move to London so that he can be closer to his children who are now living in London after the break up with Church and to escape Welsh media pressure.

Saracens and Harlequins have ruled out signing Henson but London Irish director of rugby Toby Booth says that he would be interested in talking to Henson if he was able to secure an early release from his Ospreys’ contract.

“No English club can afford to pay a transfer fee but if Gavin is able to sort out his affairs then I would be interested in having talks with him,” Booth told the Telegraph.

“I would never say never about any player and there are only so many good players around. There is no point cutting off your nose to spite your face. It is about getting the right player for the right deal.”

The Ospreys who have been enormously patient with Henson are however insisting that the Strictly Come Dancing contestant should honour his contract with them, which does not expire until May 2011.


Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter ruled out a move for Henson, who has set his sights on playing for Wales again in this season’s Six Nations.


“We are happy with our squad for this season,” Venter said.


“Gavin is a wonderful player but at Saracens don’t rush into decisions.

“We need to make sure the player has the right character to fit into the culture of our squad.” – (Henson is Welsh not South African).

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