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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 20:15 GMT
'Suicidal' Henson blames himself
Gavin Henson looks stunned after Wales' 31-5 loss in Ireland
Gavin Henson looks stunned after Wales' 31-5 loss in Ireland
Gavin Henson blamed himself for Wales' 31-5 loss in Ireland, saying he felt "suicidal" for his performance after replacing injured Stephen Jones early.

"I've probably let myself down, let the players down - although they might not say it," a dejected Henson said.

"I was pretty down after the game, more depressed this morning. Suicidal.

"The last thing I want to do is play rugby at the moment, I feel like walking away from it - but I'll be fine when I get back out training tomorrow."

A groin injury that required surgery following the Lions tour and a seven-week suspension for elbowing an opponent means Henson has spent little time on the pitch.

Having had just one warm-up game, a Celtic League match against Border Reivers, before his return to the Test arena, Henson admits he was not ready.

"I found it tough from the first minute," he added. "It was ridiculously fast, I'd forgotten just how fast the game was at international level.

"Especially coming on at number 10, having to remember all the calls I just found it very hard and I made a lot of mistakes again - just like I did the week before.

"If you make mistakes like that at international level you get punished and it was a steep learning curve there.

"There's loads of excuses I could grab, but at the end of the day I just didn't perform.

I don't deserve to be in the Wales squad at the moment
Gavin Henson

"I'm disappointed for myself, my family, my friends, my team-mates, my coaches - and I feel I've let down the country as well."

Henson has a chance to get straight back in the saddle when the Ospreys play the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Friday night.

But the 24-year-old says he needs to pick himself up first and it is touch-and-go whether he is selected in the Wales squad to face Italy on 11 March.

"I don't deserve to be in the Wales squad at the moment with my form. I haven't played any games and I'm nowhere near the level of international rugby.

"Unless things change on Friday night I can't see myself being involved again, I don't deserve to be."

After the Lansdowne Road loss the Wales camp highlighted Lions fly-half Jones limping off after 19 minutes as a major factor.

But caretaker coach Scott Johnson and the other Wales players refused to blame Henson, saying it was understandable the Osprey would be rusty in what is just his fifth match of the season.

BBC rugby pundit Jonathan Davies was not so charitable, describing Henson as "very, very poor, looked almost disinterested".

And former England hooker Brian Moore said Henson had made a bad mistake in suggesting he wanted to walk away from the game.

"If I was his agent I'd have to get hold of him and slap him about really, because obviously people hearing that are just going to say: 'Well just go away basically. Just go and be a model'," said Moore.

"Really he's got to understand, or someone's got to make him understand, that with his profile at the moment those sort of remarks are going to be seized upon and they don't go down well.

"They don't go down well in general rugby parlance, but in Wales! He's going to get so much stick for that."

Interview: Wales' Gavin Henson

Interview: Wales caretaker coach Scott Johnson

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