A Welsh rugby league club have claimed to have signed former Welsh rugby union legend Gavin Henson, at the age of 38. The West Wales Raiders have released a video on Twitter that shows Henson – who hasn’t played competitive rugby in 18 months – with a jersey.
The video – which shows Henson in an outtake from an old interview with Jonathan Davies in which the former Welsh star is asked what his biggest regret is, to which he replies: ‘Probably not having a go at rugby league’.
??RAIDERS SIGN A LION?
— West Wales Raiders (at ?) (@WWRaidersRL) September 18, 2020
There is no mention of the move on Henson’s Twitter account as yet. The West Wales Raiders play in League 1, the third tier of rugby league in the United Kingdom. The club was formed in 2009 as South Wales Scorpions.
Henson is still in good shape and maintained a strict food and gym routine while at Dragons. In an interview with RugbyPass, Dragons forward Taine Basham told Owain Jones: “When I made my debut two years ago, Gavin Henson had just signed. He was different. He didn’t eat the same food as everyone else in the canteen but brought his own and it was immaculately presented.
“At the gym, you’d see him stretching, staying on late doing his sets and extras in training and think, that’s a true professional. Plus his tan was unreal. He’s still doing it at 35.”
It would be a remarkable move for Henson, whose final years in union were marked by frequent injury. Henson hasn’t played since leaving the Dragons in 2019. The Welsh international featured for Swansea, Ospreys, Saracens, Toulon, Cardiff Blues, London Welsh, Bath and Bristol before Bernard Jackman gave him a chance at Rodney Parade that resulted in a total of 18 appearances in two seasons at the PRO14 side.
It was the end of a storied career for the colourful Henson, one which saw his off-field romances feature on the cover of tabloid newspapers across the UK, most notably Charlotte Church, with whom he has a child.
Following his turbulent rugby career, he went into business as a pub landlord. Henson reportedly attended a one-day training course on becoming a pub licensee and was required to pass an exam after he purchased the freehold of the pub.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now