Henson set for comeback in Barbarians invitational

WALES centre Gavin Henson is set to make his first competitive appearance for 18 months after accepting an invitation to represent the Barbarians.

Henson, who is currently in self-imposed exile from the game, will make his comeback as part of the Barbarians side to face South Africa at Twickenham in December.

The 28-year-old has been on unpaid leave from his club Ospreys after becoming disillusioned with the game, following a spell out with an ankle injury. But earlier this month he revealed that he wanted to return and win back his place in the national team for the Six Nations and next year’s World Cup.

A full comeback will have to wait until he has fulfilled his commitments to the television programme Strictly Come Dancing but Barbarians contracts manager Mike Burton insists he will be physically ready.

“Obviously our invitation to Gavin will attract a lot of attention,” he said. “He has other commitments outside rugby and he is conscious of the need for match fitness in order to do himself and the club justice.”

Henson’s Ospreys colleague Mike Phillips and Australia’s Matt Giteau and Rocky Elsom are also in the squad.