Henson targets Wales recall

SARACENS newboy Gavin Henson claims he’s back in rugby for good and hopes to cap his comeback to the sport by being part of Wales’ 2011 Six Nations campaign.

Henson, 28, is set to make his first appearance for his new club in the Premiership Boxing Day clash against Wasps at Wembley, 21 months on from his last competitive outing.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has warned Henson a return the international fold is far from guaranteed, but the two-time Grand Slam winner believes he is capable of the sort of performances that will make his claims hard to ignore.

He said: “The bigger picture for me is the Six Nations and hopefully I can get in that Welsh squad. Hopefully the game hasn’t changed too much and my skill levels are still there. I believe they will be. I think it’s going to be fun.

“Hopefully I can get up to speed as soon as possible because obviously I’d love to get in that Welsh Six Nations squad, and then obviously the World Cup.

“I’ve missed out on the World Cup the last couple of times. That’s a huge thing missing on my CV so I’ll do everything in my power to get in. It’s all really exciting.

“I’ve not heard anything directly from the Wales management. I’ve heard he’s [Gatland] been speaking about me so obviously he remembers me a little bit.”

International recall or not, Henson (right) is simply happy to be back doing what he loves best after turning his back on the sport and occupying his time by performing on reality TV shows Strictly Come Dancing and 71 Degrees North.

Henson feels appearing on those shows has been good for his personal development but is so happy to be back in a rugby environment that he can see himself extending his career well into his 30s.

“I do look after my self and I’m hoping I can play for another eight years. I’m in it for the long run,” he said. “I think those two shows have been good for me but I’d really like to be taken seriously as a rugby player.

“I want to get back to the top of the game and win honours in rugby. That’s what I’ve missed, especially playing for my country.”