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The hunger has returned for Henson

Gavin Henson insists his hunger for rugby is "bigger than ever" as he embarks on the latest chapter of an often controversial career with Cardiff Blues.

The 29-year-old Wales international, who is still recovering from the wrist injury which wrecked his World Cup hopes, has joined the region on an eight-month contract after being let go by French outfit Toulon at the end of last season.

He said: "My hunger is bigger than ever. That's exciting for me, I didn't have those feelings until I took that time out (for TV appearances). Running out for games and not feeling anything wasn't nice. But those feelings have come back and the love for the game is there."

He added: "I want to prove to myself that I can play week-in week-out rugby. I haven't done that for some long and had those doubts. There's a lot of people I want to prove myself to.

"I do have a high opinion of myself as a rugby player and I think all sports people have to have that confidence. For me it's trying to play weekly."

Henson, who said he is ready to play at fly-half or centre, will face some stiff competition just to secure a place at the Blues.

Scotland international Dan Parks and former Wales international Ceri Sweeney are the incumbent number 10s, while Jamie Roberts will be first choice inside centre following his excellent World Cup displays.

Henson, who has won just 33 caps since making his debut over a decade ago, acknowledges he faces a tough task, but hopes to link up with Roberts in the centre, paying a glowing tribute to the impressive three-quarter.

"He's been incredible and is definitely the best 12 in world rugby," said Henson. "Any international team would start him at 12, he's been unbelievable and to have the chance to maybe play alongside him will be awesome.

"I've been so impressed with him ever since he came on the scene. It will be interesting. We've played together a couple of times and there have been glimpses that we could complement each other. To work with him now on a daily basis is pretty exciting. We interchanged at 12 and 13 against England. It could definitely work but there's a lot for me to do yet."

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