Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Henson set to seal Saracens switch

Gavin Henson
Gavin Henson

Saracens are set to unveil Wales star Gavin Henson as their latest recruit after the Ospreys "reluctantly agreed" to release him from his contract.

Henson could be paraded as a Saracens player before the end of this week. The 28-year-old has not played for 18 months after going on unpaid leave following the latest in a series of injury setbacks. He was under contract with the Ospreys until next May.

Centre Henson is currently appearing on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing series, a commitment which could last until Christmas, but he took part in his first Saracens training session earlier this week.

His arrival at Vicarage Road would give Saracens additional fly-half cover after their South African number 10 Derick Hougaard suffered a season-ending Achilles injury earlier this month.

Henson, meanwhile, won the last of his 31 Wales caps against Ireland during the 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship, but he has spoken of ambitions to play in next year's World Cup.

Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy said: "In the interests of Gavin personally, and for Welsh rugby in general, we have reluctantly agreed to his request to be released from his contract with immediate effect, enabling him to return to rugby with Saracens.

"I am disappointed and frustrated, both personally for myself and for the Ospreys, as one thing we would all want to see is Gavin Henson back in an Ospreys shirt.

"However, circumstances haven't allowed for that to happen, and it is necessary that we make the decision that we have in order to allow everyone to move forward from the current position.

"With the Rugby World Cup taking place next year, no doubt that will be the focus of Gavin's efforts over the coming months.

"I know how strong Gavin's personal desire is to play at a World Cup. It has been a long-term ambition of his, and I certainly didn't want to be the person who prevented him from achieving that aim by standing in his way."

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