Booth backtracks on signing Gavin Henson

London Irish have backtracked on their earlier comments which suggested that they were interested in signing Wales international Gavin Henson.

London Irish beat Gloucester 23-16 on the weekend and Exiles boss Toby Booth said after the match that there is, “less than 1 per cent chance” of them signing the Welshman.

Henson is on unpaid leave from the Ospreys and has not played rugby for 18 months but has a contract with them which runs until the end of this season.

After splitting with his fiance Henson has said that he wants to leave Wales and play in a Premiership club – preferably in London so that he can be near his children and away from the media spotlight in Wales.

London Wasps, Saracens and Harlequins have all ruled out signing him and there now appears little chance of London Irish signing him – either on-loan or permanently.

“I’ve had no contact on that front – the situation is pretty clear from our point of view. It is not us doing Gavin Henson a favour.” Booth told the BBC.

“If he feels he wants to contribute (to the club) we will have a conversation. But we haven’t spoken to him, and I don’t expect to speak to him. We haven’t considered it.

“It would be my decision, but we haven’t held a conversation about it. There is less than a 1 per cent chance.”

Booth’s latest comments are in contrast to his comments on Thursday when he said, “Of course we’re interested in good players that become available. Someone’s reputation doesn’t really matter.”

Before Henson can move away from the Ospreys he would need to get a release from the Ospreys which is unlikely as their director of coaching Scott Johnson says that Henson should repay the region’s understanding approach to his off-field problems by seeing out his deal.

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