Gavin Henson, the 2005 Grand Slam hero looks like he could be on his way out of Wales. Dragons have decided not to offer him a new contract to stay at the Newport based outfit. This is probably due to his mere three appearances this season and due to him being thirty seven years old.
Sadly due to his age and his injury woes, I cannot see Henson joining another Welsh region. Although he has proven he still has the ability to play some stellar rugby. Last season he notched up 98 points in 15 appearances, which is pretty solid for a player of thirty six years old…
If Henson was to keep playing, he would be beneficial to a small team looking for vast experience or looking to bring him on as a coach. Fellow Grand Slam winner, Elliot Dee supported this by stating “Every player would say they have learned a lot from him; he spent an hour this morning training with Arwel Robson (outside-half) giving him tips.” I hope we can see Gav in a coaching role if his career does end.
Reminiscing the old days.
Henson rose to Welsh stardom after slotting a beautiful penalty against England in 2005. Moreover, this kick led to Wales first win over England in six years. Not only was this Wales first Grand Slam since 1978, it also rejuvenated rugby in Wales. Sadly Henson’s career would stagnate pretty quickly as many thought he was at his peak during the 2005 Lions tour against the All Blacks.
Shortly after this his career spiralled out of control. It all started with a 10 match ban for elbowing a Leicester Tigers player. Sadly it did not stop there, he then started fighting his team mates at any club he joined. Not only did this end up with him bouncing from club to club, it also put him out contention to play for Wales again. He finally ended up with the Dragons in order to try and play for Wales again but it has proven to be too late.
A sad ending for Henson.
Gavin Henson arguably had the rugby world at his feet. He showed enormous potential since the age of eighteen and could have easily been a Welsh rugby legend. Moreover, he never lost a game in a Welsh jersey and is the proud owner of two Grand Slams medals.
When thinking about what Henson could have achieved, it is sad. If it was not for his off the field antics, he may have been Wales equivalent of Owen Farrell. The saddest thing about Henson is that he will be remembered for his kick against England and being a diva – which David Moffett, Wales former Chief Executive predicted. In 2005, Moffet said ‘Gavin Henson is a young man with a huge amount of potential and none of us wants him to be remembered as someone who kicked a goal against England and went out with Charlotte Church’.
With that all said and done, he still played some beautiful rugby for Wales and I wish him the best for whatever paths he decides to follow.
Written by Sam Powell