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Henson agrees Bristol deal

Gavin Henson will join Bristol on a one-year contract this summer, leaving Bath after two seasons with the west country club.

Championship promotion hopefuls Bristol will become the 32-year-old utility-back's ninth professional club.

The 33-cap Wales star toured New Zealand in 2005 with the British and Irish Lions, but endured rocky stints at Toulon and Cardiff Blues before settling in Bath via one season with London Welsh.

Henson's move reunites him with Bristol first team coach Sean Holley, who mentored the two-time Grand Slam-winner through his rise to Test prominence at the Ospreys.

"Gavin's all-round rugby ability will enhance the way that we are trying to develop our game. He's a good fit for us," said Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson.

"Gavin's performances have been consistently good and he has worked hard. He's shown professionalism and a positive attitude. Gavin is hungry and wants to play rugby.

"Coupled with his vast experience at the highest level, Gavin's arrival will provide us with nous and versatility in our young and exciting backline."

Bristol are embroiled in another all-out assault at winning promotion to the Premiership after losing out to London Welsh in last year's Championship play-off.

Henson will now be among those hoping his new club complete their mission to return to the top flight.

The one-cap Lions star has always boasted prodigious talent, but has often fallen foul of off-field problems.

Short-lived stints at Toulon in 2011 and Cardiff Blues in 2012 both ended in acrimony, Henson alleged to have left Toulon after fighting with team-mates on a night out.

The astute playmaker was later sacked by the Blues in April 2012 after being found to be drinking and behaving inappropriately on a flight after a Cardiff match in Glasgow.

His celebrity lifestyle through marriage to singer Charlotte Church and reality TV stints on Strictly Come Dancing and The Bachelor have often been cited in suggestions of a lack of rugby focus.

Henson has generally settled at Bath however, providing back-up to the likes of George North, Kyle Eastmond and Anthony Watson in a star-studded backline.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity of working with Andy (Robinson) and, once again, with Sean," said Henson.

"Bristol is a well-run club with great facilities and a clear ambition for the future. I'm keen to play my part in that vision.

"I want to play rugby and focus on my game. The incentive for me is to show a positive attitude in a Bristol shirt and keep working hard on my performances."

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