Top 14

Henson to make Toulon debut

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Gavin Henson, Saracens

Image credit: Reuters

ByPA Sport
01/04/2011 at 07:04 | Updated 01/04/2011 at 07:11

Gavin Henson has revealed that he is set to make his debut for Toulon in their home Top 14 clash with Stade Francais.

The Wales centre has not played for the club since joining them at the start of February. The 29-year-old, who has won 31 caps for his country, has been out of action since injuring his calf while playing for Saracens in their Heineken Cup defeat to Leinster, the last of the four appearances he made for the Aviva Premiership club before being released from his contract.

"I'm starting at 12 this weekend against Stade Francais," he told BBC Wales' Scrum V programme. "I am so happy to be back playing now. I think it's been probably about two years since I started at 12."

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And with there being only four regular season games remaining in the French domestic competition Henson knows he needs to prove his worth quickly if he is to fulfil his ambition of playing for Wales at the World Cup in New Zealand later this year, and to secure his long-term future with the club.

He added: "I'm a little bit nervous, going to be excited as well. Can't wait for the game. I'm on trial a little bit, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself.

"I signed for them, but I had to play five or six games to get a two-year contract in place. But that is out of the window because I didn't realise my calf injury was as bad as it was.

"I'm hoping once I play they like what they see and hopefully the contract will be in place. My aim is to play four games and if we do get in the play-offs there will be four games again."

Henson, who only returned to the game in December after a 20-month exile, has not pulled on a Wales jersey since the 2009 Six Nations title decider against Ireland. But the former Ospreys back could potentially feature in Wales' June fixture against the Barbarians or their World Cup warm-up Tests against England (twice) and Argentina.

However, he is aware that his club form needs to pass muster before Wales coach Warren Gatland comes calling.

"I'm aware there are summer internationals with Wales and a World Cup round the corner," he said. "If I manage to start the four games for Toulon I'd like to think that Wales would at least try me out in one of those (summer) games."

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