| 6.1°C Belfast

Henson in provisional Wales squad


Gavin Henson

Gavin Henson

Gavin Henson

Gavin Henson took a step closer to fulfilling his dream of playing in the World Cup after being named in Wales' preliminary 45-man party for the global showpiece in New Zealand on the same day he returned to Test rugby after a two-year absence.

Henson made his first international appearance since the 2009 RBS 6 Nations finale against Ireland in Saturday's 31-28 defeat to the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium.

The 29-year-old, who had started just three games this season, put in a steady but not spectacular performance. While he appears some way short of his best, Wales coach Warren Gatland is looking forward to continuing to work with the former Saracens and Ospreys man as he starts the process of trimming his panel down to 30 players by the deadline of August 22.

Gatland said: "He looked a bit rusty at times but I thought there were some really nice touches. He held his depth well and there was a lovely pass to put George North away for a try, and that's the quality he has got.

"There were a couple of (poor) kicks, but he knows he is a bit off at the moment - but he showed some nice touches."

Other notable selections in Gatland's squad include the back-row triumvirate of Martyn Williams, Andy Powell and Gareth Delve - but Ospreys lock Ian Gough misses out, as does his regional colleague Dan Biggar.

The stand-off's poor regional form sees uncapped Newport Gwent Dragons pivot Jason Tovey preferred to him and new Wasps signing Nicky Robinson as the fourth fly-half.

Alongside Tovey, the other uncapped players in the squad are Scarlets lock Lou Reed and Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric, with all 22 players who featured against the Baa-Baas being included in the party.

Rugby Round Up Newsletter

Exclusives and expert analysis from the sports team straight to your inbox

This field is required

Top Videos