Welsh Rugby
Henson in line for Wales return
ESPNscrum Staff
April 7, 2011
Toulon centre Gavin Henson makes a break, Toulon v Stade Francais, Top 14, Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon, France, April 2, 2011
Gavin Henson was in terrific form on his Toulon debut © Getty Images

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has indicated that Gavin Henson will be given every opportunity to break back in to the Wales squad in time for this year's World Cup in September.

Henson starred on his Toulon debut last weekend as he scored one try and set up another in the French side's 38-10 victory over Stade Francais in the Top 14. The 29-year-old thrived in his favoured position of inside centre as he played his first game since January.

"We're watching Gavin very closely and he'll certainly come into the mix in our Rugby World Cup preparation," Howley told BBC Wales' Scrum V Radio. "[We want] to give him an opportunity because he's spent a long time out.

"I watched him play on Saturday against Stade Francais. He looks fit, he looks very enthusiastic, his work-rate off the ball was good, which was a very pleasing aspect of his game. He played particularly well. He looks very fit. We all know Gavin's strengths, he's a very accomplished player, very skilful and he's very confident in his own rugby ability.

"His ability to play 12 or 13, with a kick, run, pass option, he is a very confident rugby player. I think that his game-time is going to be monitored between now and the end of the season."

Henson, who has won 31 international caps, has not played for Wales since 2009 against Ireland. The former Ospreys centre ended 21 months away from the game due to injury when joined Saracens in December. But it was a short and unhappy spell at the Aviva Premiership club and he signed a five-month deal with Toulon.

With three league games remaining in the Top 14 and a further three if Toulon qualify for the play-offs, Henson has time to prove his fitness ahead of Wales' warm-up games, which start in June, against the Barbarians, Argentina and England twice prior to the World Cup in New Zealand.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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