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Strictly rugby for Henson

Gavin Henson did a few steps and kicks and sported his 'Strictly Come Dancing' perma-tan on the hallowed turn of Wembley on Monday afternoon but then he insisted he was back in rugby for good.

Henson will run out at football HQ for his first rugby match in 21 months for Saracens against Wasps in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday and he believes he can now play for another eight years.

After a light training-cum-photo session at Wembley, Henson said of his comeback: "I'm really excited about it. I've no idea where I'm at but I'm feeling pretty good. The skill levels are not too bad in training, it's going to be fun. I just hope I perform pretty well."

He added: "I've only had one or two days training with Saracens per week because the dancing just continued until the end. I've not had much contact work but it should be all right. I should be able to wing it some way hopefully."

Henson's presence should ensure Saracens attract a record crowd of around 50,000 for their sixth game at Wembley.

But the big question is: Will the crowd be watching an over-hyped celebrity or a rugby star who has done the hard yards in training to make an impact at the highest level?

Henson, who won two Six Nations Grand Slams with Wales in 2005 and 2008, including landing the match-winning points and the man-of-the-match award with a successful 48-metre penalty kick against England in 2005, has no doubts.

He has already set his sights on playing for Wales again by the time the Six Nations starts in February when he will have turned 29.

"I try not to let negative thoughts in my head," he said. "In my mind I am playing unbelievable but it is a different thing in reality. If it doesn't happen straightaway it doesn't happen straightaway but I am back in rugby for good now and hopefully I can play for another eight years.

"I am in it for the long run and would love to get up to speed as soon as possible because I would love to get in the Six Nations squad and in that World Cup."


From Belfast Telegraph