Henson fired by Cardiff Blues following incident

by Staff Writer

Wales centre Gavin Henson's chances of returning to international rugby could be over after he was fired on Monday by club side Cardiff Blues for his drunken behaviour on a post-match flight.

The team dismissed Henson with immediate effect, just five months since signing him, over the incident on the trip back from a Celtic League match in Scotland.

There had only ever been a slim chance of Henson returning to international rugby after Wales finished fourth at last year's Rugby World Cup and then won the Six Nations Grand Slam without him.

Another disciplinary incident and the search for a fifth club in 18 months means that slim chance may now have evaporated.

"Gavin admitted himself that his behaviour was totally unacceptable and the immediate termination of his contract sends out a clear message that behaviour like that will not be tolerated at the Blues," Cardiff Blues Chief Executive Richard Holland said.

"We have a duty to our supporters and sponsors to protect the good name of Cardiff Blues and those associated with our brand."

It is the second time in less than a year that Henson has left a club in disgrace.

After leaving the Ospreys and playing just a single game for Saracens, Henson joined French side Toulon in February 2010 in the hope of rebuilding a career increasingly overshadowed by disciplinary issues and his off-the-field lifestyle.

After just two games, Toulon suspended Henson for a breach of club discipline following a nightclub altercation with teammates and he left the club in May. He then joined the Blues in October.

Henson made his first appearance against another Test nation in almost two-and-a-half years in Wales' World Cup warmup against England on August 13 but hurt his wrist and was ruled out of contention for a place in the squad.

That 31-minute cameo and 61 minutes against the Barbarians in June are Henson's only appearances for Wales in a three-year spell marked by injuries, poor form and a self-imposed exile from the game.

Henson, who has two children from a relationship with singer Charlotte Church, has been accused by many rugby commentators of not being fully committed to the sport. He has appeared in three reality television shows since 2010.

"Gavin Henson is obviously a talented rugby player and it's unfortunate that his career at the Blues has ended this way," Holland said.

"However, we would like to thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck with his future career."

Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams have all proved themselves in the centres in the absence of Henson, who looks unlikely to add to the 33rd cap he won in August's 19-9 win over England.

Join the discussion

Advertisement