Former Grand Slam winner Gavin Henson has said he will get ‘more and more confident with each game,’ after dislocating his finger in his rugby league debut for League 1 side West Wales Raiders.

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The 39-year-old was making his bow in a new code against Championship side Widnes Vikings in round one of the Challenge Cup, and played on despite the injury to his finger.

Before the match on Sunday, the former Wales, and British and Irish Lions centre said he would have liked a few more games under his belt before such a big match, but said he was “excited”.

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“I’ve been playing rugby union for nearly 20 years,” he said. “So ideally for such a big game I would have loved to have played about six games before this one but I haven’t.

“I didn’t sleep very well, I don’t know whether that was because of Wales versus France last night. I felt pretty sick after that game last night. But I’m pretty excited.”

Henson’s new side fell to a 58-4 loss, but he remained confident that he will improve and that his baptism of fire will pay off. He said: “Tough day at the office. Broke my finger, dislocated it pretty early on, so that didn’t help my handling. I enjoyed it. It’s a good game. I think I’ll get more and more confident with each game. Obviously tough going up against a team like Widnes starting off, but hopefully when the league starts we’ll be better for that game and I will be better as well.”

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This is the latest instalment in the varied career of the Welshman, which saw him play for a multitude of clubs in union. These included Llanelli, the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and the Dragons in Wales; Saracens, London Welsh, Bath and Bristol in England, as well as a stint in France with Toulon.

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