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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Sunday, 19 September 2010 18:48 UK

London Irish distance themselves from Gavin Henson bid

Gavin Henson against Iereland
Henson's last Test appearance came in the 17-15 defeat by Ireland in 2009

London Irish have backtracked on earlier comments suggesting they were interested in signing Gavin Henson.

After the 23-16 Premiership victory over Gloucester, Irish boss Toby Booth said there was "less than a 1% chance" of signing the unsettled Welshman.

Henson is on unpaid leave from the Ospreys and has not played for 18 months following his latest injury.

His existing Ospreys contract expires at the end of this season and he is looking to play for a London club.

But Wasps, Saracens and Harlequins have all ruled out recruiting him - and there appears little prospect of Henson joining Irish either, whether on-loan or permanently.

Booth said: "I've had no contact on that front - the situation is pretty clear from our point of view. It is not us doing Gavin Henson a favour.

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"If he feels he wants to contribute [to the club] we will have a conversation. But we haven't spoken to him, and I don't expect to speak to him. We haven't considered it.

"It would be my decision, but we haven't held a conversation about it. There is less than a 1% chance."

Booth had been much more positive on Thursday, saying: "Of course we're interested in good players that become available. Someone's reputation doesn't really matter."

Henson, 28, is keen to move to fly-half from centre and is looking for a move to the London area to be near his children - but there does not appear to be an obvious suitor among the south-east's top-flight clubs.

If he were to fashion an exit, it is unlikely to be a smooth one. Ospreys' director of coaching Scott Johnson has said he should repay the region's understanding approach to his off-field problems by seeing out his deal.

Despite not playing since injuring his ankle in March 2009 and being forced to deny rumours that he may retire from the sport, Henson still harbours hopes of returning to international action this season.



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see also
London Irish 23-16 Gloucester
19 Sep 10 |  English
Ospreys are open to Henson bids
17 Sep 10 |  Welsh
'Raw' Henson targets London move
16 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Johnson takes tough Henson stance
13 Sep 10 |  Welsh


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