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RUGBY UNION: Fit-again Henson's fired-up
GAVIN Henson will make his Aviva Premiership debut for London Welsh when they host Saracens at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow (2.15).
Henson will start at fly half in place of Gordon Ross after recovering from the fractured cheekbone he sustained in a pre-season friendly at Llanelli Scarlets.
The Exiles had previously said Henson was due to make his comeback against Stade Francais in the Amlin Challenge Cup next Saturday.
But the 30-year-old Welsh international was a surprise inclusion as one of six changes to face the club he had a brief spell with in 2010-11.
“I am really looking forward to making my first start for London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday,” said Henson.
“Having been given the opportunity by Lyn Jones and the club to play in the Premiership, it was both disappointing and frustrating to pick up an injury against Scarlets in pre-season.
“However, the boys have done really well in the first five games and now I just cannot wait to start playing my part with the rest of the team.
“I am also very excited about playing at the Kassam in front of the London Welsh supporters for the first time.
“Saracens are an extremely good side, we know that, but this is a great opportunity both for me and for London Welsh to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the Premiership.”
Hooker Dan George and centre James Lewis replace Neil Briggs and Sonny Parker, who picked up shoulder and ankle injuries against Gloucester respectively.
Lewis will also make his Premiership debut alongside Hudson Tonga’uiha, who was voted London Welsh Supporters’ Club player of the month for September.
Phil Mackenzie comes in on the wing, with Tom Arscott reverting to full back and Seb Jewell named on the bench.
The fit-again Mike Denbee replaces Michael Hills at openside flanker.
Saracens rest Chris Ashton, with fellow England wing David Strettle coming in.
England full back Alex Goode and centre Brad Barritt also sit it out, while Charlie Hodgson starts at fly half and Owen Farrell moves to inside centre.
London Welsh: Arscott, MacKenzie, Lewis, Tonga’uiha, Scott, Henson, Keats, Montanella, George, Ion, Mills (capt), Corker, Browne, Denbee, Jackson. Reps: Bateman, Bristow, Joly, Kulemin, To’oala, Runciman, Davis, Jewell.
Saracens: Wyles, Strettle, Tomkins, Farrell, Short, Hodgson, Wigglesworth, Gill, Smit, Stevens, Borthwick (capt), Kruis, Fraser, Saull, Wray. Reps: George, Vunipola, Nieto, Botha, Fenton-Wells, De Kock, Ratuvou, Taylor.