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Gavin Henson faces late fitness test

Gavin Henson (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Former Welsh star Gavin Henson faces a fitness battle to make the season opener against Treviso on Saturday.

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Dragons could face a halfback deficit as flyhalf Henson and scrumhalves Tavis Knoyle and Rhodri Davies all have late fitness tests ahead of the Guinness PRO14 league opener with Benetton Rugby at Rodney Parade on Saturday (KO 7.35pm).

The 36-year-old managed 15 appearances and scored 98 points for the Dragons last season despite facing a number of injury setbacks throughout the campaign.

Henson joined the Dragons in the summer of 2017, after signing a two-year deal to return to Wales from Bristol RFC.

The British and Irish Lion, who toured in 2005 to New Zealand, achieved Grand slams with Wales in the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008.

The versatile back can play as flyhalf, fullback or inside centre.

Head Coach Bernard Jackman has named an extended 27-man squad that features summer signings Richard Hibbard, Ryan Bevington, Rhys Lawrence, Brandon Nansen, Rhodri Williams, Josh Lewis, Dafydd Howells, Jordan Williams and Rhodri Davies.

Henson, Knoyle and Rhodri Davies will all be monitored before the team is finalised later this week.

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Aaron Jarvis, Harrison Keddie, Ashton Hewitt and Jared Rosser all miss the opening league game of the season through injury.

Dragons Squad: Brok Harris, Ryan Bevington, Elliot Dee, Rhys Lawrence, Richard Hibbard, Leon Brown, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Joe Davies, Cory Hill, Brandon Nansen, Ollie Griffiths, Lewis Evans, Aaron Wainwright, Rhodri Davies, Rhodri Williams, Tavis Knoyle, Josh Lewis, Gavin Henson, Daffyd Howells, Adam Warren, Jordan Williams, Jack Dixon, Tyler Morgan, Hallam Amos, Zane Kirchner, Huw Taylor

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Jon 4 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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