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Dragons' decision means rugby might have seen the last of the maverick Gavin Henson

By Online Editors
Gavin Henson, here tackling Newcastle's Gary Graham in December 2017, is being released by Dragons at the end of this season (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Gavin Henson’s career appears to have reached a dead-end after Dragons revealed they will not be offering the Welsh maverick a contract extension. 

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The 37-year-old was one of the biggest gambles of the short-lived Bernard Jackman reign at the struggling PRO14 region. 

Henson managed 15 appearances in his first season at the club, but injury and lack of form restricted him to only three games this term and he has now been told he will be surplus to requirement when their campaign finishes at the end of April. 

The 2005 and 2008 Wales Grand Slam star was left out of the club’s 29-strong squad travelling to South Africa for league matches against Southern Kings and Cheetahs, with caretaker coach Ceri Jones admitting the end is nigh for a player who divided opinion throughout his career.

Asked by Welsh media if Henson, who was capped 33 times by Wales, was being offered another deal, Jones, who has taken over player retention and recruitment at Rodney Parade since Jackman’s December sacking, said “No”.

Jones added that he was uncertain if the 2005 Lions tourist wanted to continue playing once he leaves the Dragons and unless he features in the campaign-ending Judgement Day match versus Scarlets at the Principality, his last match will have been the mid-February defeat away to Edinburgh.  

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With the other financially-straitened Welsh regions unlikely to reach out to Henson, it would appear that the career of the former Ospreys, Saracens, Toulon, Cardiff, London Welsh, Bath and Bristol player is over unless he can somehow secure a deal beyond Wales.  

Elliot Dee, Dragons’ Grand-Slam winning Wales hooker last month, told walesonline.co.uk: “Gavin has been a brilliant guy to have around the environment. Every player would say they have learned a lot from him. 

“He spent an hour Monday morning training with (out-half) Arwel Robson giving him tips. That was brilliant. Everyone has got a massive respect for him. He’s been a great player, he sees things other players don’t.”

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