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Gavin Henson unlikely to play for Wales again - Thomas

Gavin Henson
Gavin Henson has been capped 31 times by Wales

Former Wales captain Gareth Thomas thinks it unlikely that Gavin Henson will ever play for Wales again.

Ospreys centre Henson chose to take a sabbatical from the game last April after injuring his foot.

But after being impressed by Wales in Saturday's 30-17 Six Nations defeat to England, Thomas believes even a fully-fit Henson would not make the Welsh XV.

"The team is picking itself... and I think Gavin is too far out of touch to get back in," said his former skipper.

Henson, who has endured a catalogue of injuries since 2005, has reportedly dropped three stone to 11st since his hiatus.

His career intentions remain unclear, while his club are anxious that he returns in time for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup.

To expect Gavin to come back in and be the player he was is a lot of expectation to carry on his shoulders

Gareth Thomas

Thomas, who lives in the same village as his former British and Irish Lions team-mate, told BBC 5 live's Sportsweek that Henson appears to be in good shape.

"I see Gavin around. He's still in good shape, he's a very fit man and it's a shame he's not playing at the moment.

"But I think to come back after such a long time in the wilderness is really difficult.

"Rugby changes weekly, the game has progressed a lot.

"Gavin has been out for a long, long time now, so to expect him to come back in and be the player he was is a lot of expectation to carry on his shoulders.

606: DEBATE

"We saw yesterday Jamie Roberts is a pretty solid player - he has the 12 jersey nailed down, and we saw a new star at 13 in James Hook."

Thomas, meanwhile, was far from downbeat after Wales's championship-opening defeat at Twickenham.

"I think the Welsh team performed pretty well, there were some outstanding individual performances and I thought they were quite solid.

"The score kind of flattered England a little bit with the interception try at the end but Wales have a lot to build on. I don't think it's all lost at all."

At 20-17, a misplaced pass from Stephen Jones was intercepted by Delon Armitage, with James Haskell eventually touching down to fend off a late Welsh comeback and effectively seal England's win.

Wales had earlier shot themselves in the foot, though, when lock Alun Wyn Jones was sin-binned for a trip on England hooker Dylan Hartley.

During Jones's time off the pitch, England notched 17 unanswered points, prompting a furious reaction to his player's folly from coach Warren Gatland after the game.

Cardiff Blues star Thomas, however, was more sympathetic to Jones' error.

"In the heat of the moment people do things that they regret," he said.

"A lot people get away with it and some people don't get away with it. I think Alun is kind of unfortunate that he didn't.

"But as to why he did it, only the man can answer himself."



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see also
Gatland blast at Wales lock Jones
06 Feb 10 |  Welsh
England 30-17 Wales
06 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Gatland urges Henson to play on
08 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Holley warns over Henson comeback
12 Jan 10 |  Welsh
Ospreys fill Henson gap - Holley
01 Dec 09 |  Ospreys
Henson wanted leave to be unpaid
28 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Harris offers Henson league stage
25 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Jones not shocked if Henson quits
31 Aug 09 |  Welsh
Henson quashes retirement rumours
13 Jul 09 |  Welsh


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