Henson signs for Premiership club London Welsh

Aviva Premiership Rugby club newcomers London Welsh has announced that they have signed controversial Wales centre Gavin Henson.

The 30-year-old double Grand Slam winner with Wales in 2005 and 2008, has been without a club since April after being sacked by Cardiff Blues over his drunken behaviour on a flight returning from a game in Glasgow.

Henson worked with Exiles coach Lyn Jones during his time at the Ospreys, and Jones believes the right environment can bring out the best in the wayward star.

“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,” Jones said.

“I sincerely hope and believe he can now draw a line under that period and move forward again with London Welsh.”

Despite playing an integral part in Wales’ 2005 and 2008 Grand Slam campaigns, and touring New Zealand with the Lions in 2005, Henson has yet to deliver consistently.

Jones, with whom Henson won two Celtic League titles and an Anglo-Welsh Cup between 2003 and 2008, said: “What’s important for Gavin is that he concentrates 100 per cent on his game and learning how to become the best he can possibly be again. “

“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.”

The Blues were Henson’s fourth club in little over a year after being released by the Ospreys in 2010 and having short stints at Saracens and Toulon.

His spell in France had also been marred by an alcohol-related incident, with the club suspending him for a week after a nightclub altercation with two team-mates.

Henson made his international debut in 2001 on Wales’ Tour of Japan and famously kicked the winning penalty in Wales’ 2005 win over England at the Millennium Stadium – Wales’ first victory over England in Cardiff for 12 years. It set them on the road to a first Grand Slam since 1978.

Henson played in all five matches of Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam triumph, adding a drop goal in the decisive win over Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. He was duly selected for Lions’ 2005 Tour of New Zealand and started the second Test in Auckland.

In 2008 Henson would again feature in all five matches as Wales secured a second Grand Slam in three years.

Henson began his career with Swansea RFC before joining the Ospreys in 2003 with the launch of regional rugby in Wales.

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