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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 16:41 GMT
Henson offered summer tour hope
Gavin Henson
Henson's hopes of playing in this year's Six Nations have gone
Coach Gareth Jenkins says Gavin Henson can make Wales' summer tour squad, despite his Six Nations disappointment.

The Ospreys centre, 25, learnt this week that he does not need an operation on his knee ligament injury.

But he must rest for three-to-four weeks, ruling him out of the rest of Wales' Six Nations campaign.

"Gavin has to play and produce form, we will watch him with a view that there is a chance to play rugby in Australia in the summer," said Jenkins.

Realistically I wouldn't expect Sonny Parker to make such an impact that it would influence me at the moment

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins

The Wales and Lions star picked up the injury against Sale in January and it has hindered his challenge for a Six Nations spot, meaning he has not featured in this year's tournament.

Fellow Wales and Ospreys centre Sonny Parker returns from a groin injury in Friday's Magners League game with Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

"Unfortunately for Sonny he is playing his first game a week before the Italy game, so realistically I wouldn't expect Sonny to make such an impact that it would influence me at the moment," said Jenkins.

"But Sonny has got enough time between now and the end of the season to get back into the flow and hopefully he is the type of player we would want to take to Australia."

Wales play two Tests down under, in Sydney (26 May) and Brisbane (2 June).

SIX NATIONS BLOG
BBC Wales' Sean Davies

Wales will have Gareth Thomas back from suspension for the game against Italy in Rome next week, but Kevin Morgan's jaw problem keeps him on the sidelines.

Prop Chris Horsman (ankle) and wing Mark Jones (ribs) face fitness battles and will miss the weekend's round of league games.

Wales have released all non-injured squad members who did not feature in the starting XV against France back to their clubs and regions this weekend.

Meanwhile, Jenkins has unveiled the latest member of his management team, psycho-physiology and performance coach John Neal.

John has already begun to have a positive impact on the squad

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins on new psycho-physiology coach John Neal

He comes to Welsh rugby having worked as an advisor to England and West Indies cricket, as well as the Rugby Football Union, and he will work closely to improve and and maintain performance.

"John will bring a new dimension to our team and will be a value to everyone across the board, from senior players right through the age groups to management," said Jenkins.

"We are about creating an environment for elite performance and that means looking at every area of what we do and assessing top-level expertise wherever we can.

"It's not a new science but I think the time is appropriate to attach ourselves to this opportunity prior to the World Cup.

"John has already begun to have a positive impact on the squad, and he comes to us with high recommendation and a long list of previous success in the field of sports psycho-physiology and elite performance."


SEE ALSO
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