Henson set for Wales return

Baa-baas will be no pushover says Wales assisant coach

Last Updated: 31/05/11 5:58pm

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Henson will earn his 32nd Wales cap

Henson will earn his 32nd Wales cap

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Gavin Henson will find out on Wednesday if he will start for Wales against the Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday.

Henson has returned to the Wales squad and is set to win his 32nd cap more than two years after he last played for his country.

The 29-year-old has had a troubled season, spending brief periods with Premiership winners Saracens and Top 14 side Toulon.

Henson is currently without a club after being released by the wealthy French outfit amid talk of a bust-up with senior players.

But assistant coach Rob Howley believes there is still time to make a mark before this year's World Cup begins in just over three months in New Zealand.

"I think it's easy to criticise the fact Gavin hasn't played," said Howley.

Influential

"Gavin has been there and done it with what he has achieved in the game, the (Wales) Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008. He has been a player who has been highly influential in the game when he has played. I think Gavin deserves a chance."
Rob Howley Quotes of the week

"Gavin has been there and done it with what he has achieved in the game, the (Wales) Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008.

"He has been a player who has been highly influential in the game when he has played. I think Gavin deserves a chance. That is my personal opinion.

"What he is able to do is he has got a natural talent in creating space, not only for himself, but for the back three and opportunities outside him.

"It's giving Gavin the chance of making his name on the rugby field. It's down to Gavin now.

"He might be starting, he might be on the bench, but if he comes on then hopefully it is a positive influence that he has.

"He has trained well over the last four or five days, and it's just transferring that now on to the field."

Never-say-die

Howley is by no means expecting a cakewalk against a Barbarians side that beat a shadow England side 38-32 at Twickenham on Sunday.

And he wants his players to be fully focused on the job in hand at the Millennium Stadium come Saturday afternoon.

"In World Cup year, you are looking at strength in depth," he added. "It's important we get that balance right in terms of youth and experience.

"It is an important game, it's a Test match. Attitude in terms of mindset will be the most important element on Saturday afternoon.

"The one thing you don't have as a Baa-baas player is the fear of losing. You just turn up and play, with a never-say-die attitude.

"I was not surprised by their performance against England, and the longer you are on tour the better you get. I am sure they will have a very strong side out on the weekend."

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