Henson hungry for success

Centre insists exile was the right move

Last Updated: 03/06/11 4:13pm

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Henson: Back training with Wales

Henson: Back training with Wales

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Wales centre Gavin Henson insists he has no regrets over his self-imposed exile from rugby, claiming it was "definitely the right decision".

"I have got my hunger and drive back, and you need that in rugby. You can't play without it. I think Saturday is going to feel like a first cap for me."
Gavin Henson Quotes of the week

Henson will win his 32nd cap when he returns to the Test arena on Saturday against the Barbarians.

And Henson, who turned out for Saracens and Toulon this season, is now hoping he can achieve his dream of playing in a World Cup.

The 29-year-old, who last played for Wales in the 2009 RBS Six Nations, said: "For me, it (exile) was definitely the right decision. I feel much better for it. I just couldn't carry on, mentally, the way I was before.

"I have got my hunger and drive back, and you need that in rugby. You can't play without it. I think Saturday is going to feel like a first cap for me.

"Having had two years out of the game, there were times when I thought I would never put the Wales jersey back on, or a rugby jersey at all, so Saturday will be a good feeling.

"It is massive for me - it all boils down to this one game at the moment."

Henson is currently a free agent after Toulon opted against extending his stay - but the former Osprey insists his only focus is on playing for Wales.

"It's great to be back," he added. "I am over the moon to get this chance - I have really missed it.

Chance

"I feel mentally refreshed. Yes, I would love to come into this match on the back of 20 games under my belt or something, but that's not the case.

"But I have got a chance here, and I will do everything I can on Saturday to hopefully force my way into these August internationals (Wales play England twice and Argentina), and then looking forward to the World Cup.

"At this moment in time, Wales is the most important thing for me. I have never been to a World Cup, and this is my only chance to try to make it right. I want to do everything I can.

"The World Cup is the biggest stage, and it is something I have missed out on twice. It is a huge driving factor in me - I really want to be on that plane.

"But I have got a lot to do. I am down the pecking order at the moment, which is fair enough."

Henson will line up at inside centre in a Wales team that includes two Test debutants - prop Ryan Bevington and number eight Toby Faletau - while Cardiff Blues flanker Sam Warburton captains his country for the first time.

Warburton will go head-to-head with Barbarians openside, the 98 times-capped Wales and Blues flanker Martyn Williams, and the Baa-Baas pack also includes another Wales Test player in Scarlets prop Iestyn Thomas.

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