Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Ospreys door still open for Henson

Gavin Henson

Wales star Gavin Henson has been told "the door remains open" for him to resume his disrupted rugby career with the Ospreys.

Henson has not played since entering a self-imposed exile 18 months ago after suffering the latest of several injury setbacks.

He was on Friday reported to have signed a lucrative contract with former English and European champions Wasps - a report the London club quickly denied - and Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy has now reiterated the Ospreys' stance after standing by him throughout his prolonged absence.

"I can reiterate our position that the door remains open for Gavin to return to the Ospreys," said Cuddy.

"Indeed, we have built our squad in the belief that he would be returning, and both Gavin and his agent confirmed this as recently as the end of July 2010, information I then passed on to our coaching staff. As such, we have had to make some difficult decisions about player recruitment on that basis.

"In addition, we have a responsibility and a duty of care to protect the players in the squad who have been present during this time, and who have had to cover for Gavin throughout his prolonged absence due to unpaid leave."

Despite not currently featuring in a playing capacity, Henson continues to attract publicity. He has signed up for the new BBC series of Strictly Come Dancing - a commitment that could last until Christmas - and he was unveiled on Wednesday as the poster boy promoting the Wales rugby team's new kit.

Henson's image was unveiled on a huge banner at the Millennium Stadium, causing consternation among some of his former Wales team-mates who were present at the launch.

There is still, though, no sign of him returning to a rugby pitch any time soon, with any aspirations he might have had of playing in the next Rugby World Cup a year from now effectively over.

Henson's existing Ospreys contract expires at the end of this season.