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London Welsh expect Gavin Henson to find his best form
London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has backed Gavin Henson to recapture his best form after signing for the Premiership-bound Old Deer Park club.
The move reunites 30-year-old Wales international with former Ospreys coach Lyn Jones, under whom he won two Celtic League titles during their five-year spell together at the Ospreys, between 2003 and 2008.
A double Grand Slam winner with Wales in 2005 and 2008, Henson has been capped 33 times by his country, scoring 133 points, with his last appearance coming in August 2011 against England at the Millennium Stadium.
As well as head coach Lyn Jones, Henson will also link up again at London Welsh with former Ospreys and Wales centre partner Sonny Parker, who joined the Exiles in April.
London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones said. “Gavin has a great talent, but over the past three or four seasons he has not realised his full potential for a number of reasons that are well documented.
“I sincerely hope and believe he can now draw a line under that period and move forward again with London Welsh.
“What’s important for Gavin is that he concentrates 100 per cent on his game and learning how to become the best he can possibly be again. I think he can add a great deal to our game and we can also do a lot for him.
“We all appreciate the skills that he can bring to a game but what team-mates and coaches will be looking for is consistency of that ability. That’s the challenge for Gavin, to hold his concentration fully on rugby as he did when he started his career, when rugby was first, second and third on his list of priorities.”
London Welsh managing director John Taylor added. “We are obviously delighted to have been able to sign a player of Gavin’s pedigree.
“He is the first to admit things have gone a little haywire over the last few years, but he has impressed on me that he still feels he has a lot to prove as a rugby player and is determined to ensure he is not remembered as somebody who never fulfilled his great potential.
“I am confident he will fit in well here and it is obvious he cannot wait to get back to what he does best - playing rugby.”
Henson made his international debut in 2001 on Wales’ Tour of Japan and famously kicked the winning penalty in Wales’ 2005 win over England at the Millennium Stadium - Wales’ first victory over England in Cardiff for 12 years. It set them on the road to a first Grand Slam since 1978.
Henson played in all five matches of Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam triumph, adding a drop goal in the decisive win over Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. He was duly selected for Lions’ 2005 Tour of New Zealand and started the second Test in Auckland.