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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 17:48 UK

Holley hails Henson return boost

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Ospreys want Henson's X-factor

Ospreys coach Sean Holley welcomed Gavin Henson's return to action for the first time since the Wales and Lion back underwent ankle surgery in April.

Henson has been named in the Ospreys squad for Saturday's clash with Ulster.

"I'm delighted to name Gavin in our 22, he's had a long road back again from injury," Holley told BBC Sport Wales.

"The time is right to expose him to some senior rugby again... he's in great shape physically and he's been in a good place mentally."

Henson, 26, has suffered a string of injuries and with it a predictable loss of form since winning a place on the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand.

606: DEBATE
However, the Bridgend-born player again played a key role in Wales' second Grand Slam in four years before his injury misfortune struck again.

"It's just a matter now of a run of games to get him back up to speed," Holley added.

"He's coped with it (the injury) with a real level of maturity this time, he's come back right and it could be a big season for him.

"It's always important to have those 'X-factor' guys in your team.

"No disrespect to anyone in our squad but people like Gav and Shane (Williams), they do have a bit of magic and can create something out of nothing.

"We had a particularly good forward effort over in Leinster last weekend (the Ospreys losing 19-13), scores were few and far between but we made some line breaks that we were unable to finish off."

Walker powering through season

As well as having Henson available again Holley can also call on Williams after injury to add to strength on the wings against Ulster.

Tommy Bowe could face his former side while Scotland wing Nikki Walker scored a fine try in Dublin last week.

Walker for one is looking forward to Henson returning to boost his scoring chances.

"It's awesome to play outside him (Henson), he creates things and makes it so much easier for you," Walker said.


see also
Ospreys v Ulster (Sat)
23 Sep 08 |  Ospreys
Henson will miss start of season
01 Jul 08 |  Ospreys
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Magners Celtic League
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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