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Henson makes the right impression


Gavin Henson

Gavin Henson

Gavin Henson

Wales coach Warren Gatland has praised Gavin Henson's professionalism as he prepares to welcome him back as an international rugby player.

Henson, who last played for Wales during the 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship, features among a 26-man squad from which Gatland will select his team to tackle the Barbarians on June 4. But, while the call-up comes after he was suspended by his club Toulon as they investigated an altercation involving the 29-year-old, Gatland is keen for Henson's rugby to make the headlines.

"I know there have been certain issues," said Gatland. "But all I can say about Gavin is that when he has been in our squad you couldn't get a guy who has been more professional in terms of the training environment. He has played well for us."

He added: "I think he knows this is an opportunity for him to go to the World Cup. If we can get the best out of Gavin, I think it would be good for Wales."

Henson, who was handed a second chance by Toulon and restored to their matchday squad against Montpellier three days ago, returns, but number eight Andy Powell misses out.

Powell departed Wasps last week after the Aviva Premiership side probed a London bar-room brawl that left him nursing a head injury, and he is currently without a club.

Gatland added: "We have got to recognise the impression Toby (Faletau) has made in the last number of weeks. It doesn't mean we are excluding someone like Andy (from World Cup contention). I am sure he will get an opportunity in the wider squad to perhaps come in and make an impression.

"For us at the moment it's looking at someone like Toby and giving him an opportunity to impress and do what he has been doing for the Newport Gwent Dragons. Hopefully, he can do it on a bigger stage."

After Henson and Powell hogged headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks, Gatland reiterated a "zero tolerance" approach within the squad.

He said: "For us, basically it is zero tolerance. You have to look at every situation. If someone is out at three in the morning and there is an incident, we will take a serious view on it. We do have a code of conduct, and the discipline within the squad during recent campaigns has been excellent."

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