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RUGBY: Henson is set for new challenge
Gavin Henson said he was totally focused on rugby as he looked ahead to London Welsh’s Aviva Premiership debut at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium .
The 30-year-old Welsh international has hit the headlines as much for his off-the-field behaviour as for his undoubted attributes on the pitch in recent seasons.
But as the Exiles prepare to host Leicester Tigers on Sunday, September 2, Henson is relishing the chance to prove his doubters wrong.
“I am totally focused on rugby, I have been since I came back into the game,” said Henson, who is at his fifth club inside two years.
“Things haven’t worked out for one reason or another.
“I am just hoping to get a fair chance here and do my talking on the field.
“It is a chance to try and put things right.”
Henson is teaming up again with head coach Lyn Jones, who oversaw his rise to prominence at the Ospreys and has brought him in as a fly half.
“This is my last chance and I want to go out playing at ten,” said Henson, who had his previous contract at Cardiff Blues terminated after a drunken incident on a plane.
“How long my career will last for I really don’t know.”
He added: “I have had good pre-season. I can’t remember the last time I had one.
“I can’t wait for the season to start. It is nice to able to challenge for a position at ten.
“Hopefully I can get that starting spot and keep it.
“I can’t wait to see how I can cope with it in the Premiership, although I have been having a bit of self doubt because it has been such a long time since I played in that position.”
Henson and his teammates play their final friendly at Llanelli Scarlets today then it will be full-steam ahead to face Leicester on Sunday.
Jones believes Henson can make a big impact for the Exiles this season – and took a punt on his former player when many clubs would not have considered signing the British Lion and double Grand Slam winner.
Henson said: “I played my best rugby under Lyn in the 2003-04 season.
“I am looking to try and recapture that form under him now.
“He is a coach I like working with. He is super intelligent rugby-wise.”