Henson to miss start of RWC

by Staff Writer

Wales star Gavin Henson will be sidelined for the start of the Rugby World Cup and is likely to miss the entire tournament after undergoing surgery on a dislocated bone in his right wrist.

Henson suffered the injury in the first half of Saturday's 19-9 victory over England in a World Cup warm-up fixture in Cardiff.

Although the Welsh Rugby Union have not officially ruled Henson out of the World Cup, he faces a recovery period of six to eight weeks and the tournament kicks off in New Zealand on September 9.

Even if the 29-year-old recovers in six weeks, the pool campaign will already be well under way by then, meaning coach Warren Gatland would be taking a major gamble if he named him in the final 30-man squad due to be announced on August 22.

If Gatland does not select Henson, he could then only play a part in the competition by replacing an injured player.

"Gavin underwent surgery this morning at the Vale Hospital to correct the dislocation to a bone in his right wrist," Prav Mathema, the WRU's national medical performance manager.

"He has been given a return to play time of six to eight weeks which, while ruling him out of selection for the initial World Cup squad, could see him available to the coaches while we are still in the pool stages of the tournament."

Henson has never played in a World Cup after being overlooked by then Wales coach Steve Hansen in 2003 and failing to recover from injury in time four years later.

He is currently without a club after spells at Saracens and Toulon last season.

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