Henson following orders as he seeks to make Saracens impact
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter has convinced Gavin Henson to continue his comeback in the unfamiliar position of outside centre.
Henson made it clear after making his Saracens debut off the replacements' bench against Wasps on Boxing Day that he wanted a chance to start at inside centre.
The 28-year-old fears Wales coach Warren Gatland will not consider him for the RBS 6 Nations if he has not proven himself in a key decision-making position. But with Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt holding onto Saracens' 10 and 12 jerseys, Venter has pressed Henson into starting action at outside centre for tomorrow's Premiership trip to Sale.
“Gavin has had another good week with us in training and we were very pleased with his contribution at Wembley,” said Venter.
“Having spoken to Gavin, he recognises the need we have at outside centre and wants to help the team.”
Henson has not started a game since he was injured in the Ospreys' LV= Cup semi-final in March 2009, after which he took unpaid leave from the Welsh side.
Saracens offered Henson a route back into rugby and, having reached the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing, he is now determined to resume an international career that stalled on 31 caps.
“The reason I got back into rugby was to play for my country. I would love to do it in the Six Nations but time is running out,” Henson said after his 29-minute cameo against Wasps. I need to start a game of rugby and at 12 as well.
“I wouldn't have thought Wales are looking at me at 13. If anything, they are looking at me at 12.”
Sale have been bolstered by the return to action of James Gaskell plus England internationals Charlie Hodgson and Andrew Sheridan.