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Henson plans life after rugby

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Gavin Henson looking to be in business before the World Cup

Former Wales star Gavin Henson is hoping to be back in business before the Rugby World Cup… running a newly-bought pub in a tiny Welsh village with a population of less than 800 people.

It was confirmed on Friday that the 2005 British and Irish Lions player was among the nine-strong contingent of players being released by Dragons, the struggling PRO14 outfit who are set to appoint ex-England International Dean Ryan as their new coach.

Henson’s exit from Rodney Parade is expected to bring the curtain down on the 37-year-old’s full-time professional rugby career which has faded away with a whimper, the out-half appearing just three times this season for the fourth-ranked Welsh region.

It is unclear if he will attempt to continue playing at semi-professional level, possibly in the Welsh Premiership, but what is certain is that Henson is planning for the future away from the game.

Henson reportedly attended a one-day training course on becoming a pub licensee last week and was required to pass an exam after he purchased the freehold of the Fox and Hounds in St Brides Major, a facility that closed last year.

Builders have been busy renovating the pub which is one of only two in a village which recorded a population of 769 people in the last government census.

St Brides Major is near where Henson grew up before going on to have a circuitous club career, the Welsh international featuring at Swansea, Ospreys, Saracens, Toulon, Cardiff Blues, London Welsh, Bath and Bristol before Bernard Jackman gave him a chance at Dragons that resulted in a total of 18 appearances in two seasons at a club that sacked their coach last December.

Henson’s roster of clubs could have been even longer had he not taken a 21-month sabbatical from playing following the 2009 Six Nations, a lay-off that resulted in him featuring in three reality television series – 71 Degrees North, Strictly Come Dancing and The Bachelor.

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Gavin Henson looking to be in business before the World Cup