Henson staying with Toulon for now

Wales back Gavin Henson has been given a lifeline in rugby after Toulon revealed that they would not be terminating his contract.

Henson had a ban imposed on him after he was in an alleged drunken altercation with team-mates and last week there were reports that he had been sacked.

“President Mourad Boudjellal and Toulon’s sporting staff have decided to reintegrate Welsh centre Gavin Henson into the Toulon squad,” the Top 14 club said in a statement.

Henson was suspended by Toulon for one week on April 18 following reports of the drunken set-to with several team-mates after he had criticised outside-half Jonny Wilkinson and captain Joe van Niekerk in the wake of a league victory over Toulouse.

The 29-year-old joined Toulon on a short-term deal in February from London side Saracens hoping to impress coach Philippe Saint-Andre and aiming to force his way into the Wales squad for this year’s World Cup.

Henson, who had not trained with his team-mates during his ban, told AFP before resuming training on Monday: “Yes, I’m staying.”

The centre, who will now be available to play against Montpellier in the Top 14 on Sunday, was also summoned to a meeting with the Welsh Rugby Union over the fracas.

Henson last played for Wales in the 2009 Six Nations before personal problems and a raft of injuries combined to see him take unpaid leave from his then-club, the Ospreys.

After appearing in two reality television shows, he signed with Saracens to end an 18-month period out of the game but made only four appearances and just one start in four months at the club.

Henson was initially hampered by a hamstring injury on his arrival in France, but made a try-scoring debut against Stade Francais and made his second start in another victory over Toulouse.

He will now see out the season with Toulon but will have to wait to see whether a new deal is forthcoming, with the signing of Australia star Matt Giteau in addition to the established presence of Wilkinson leaving Saint-Andre uncertain whether he can accommodate Henson next season.

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