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Page last updated at 06:23 GMT, Monday, 13 September 2010 07:23 UK

Ospreys' Scott Johnson takes tough Gavin Henson stance


Henson should honour deal - Johnson

Scott Johnson says he will recommend that the Ospreys board hold stay-away centre Gavin Henson to his contract.

Henson, 28, has been on unpaid leave for more than a year but is understood to want to get out of the remaining nine months of his Ospreys deal.

"It's a two-party agreement and nobody put a gun to anybody's head to sign," the director of coaching told Scrum V.

"In Gavin's case he should honour his part of that deal too and I'll be encouraging the Ospreys to do that."

Henson has not played rugby since injuring his ankle in March 2009 and is currently appearing on two television reality shows.

The double Grand Slam-winner, speaking about his situation on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing programme on Thursday, insisted he would prefer to be back on the rugby field.

Henson has been linked with Wasps and the English Premiership side released a brief statement last week saying they had not signed Henson, although it stopped short of denying whether negotiations have taken place.

But Johnson believes that if Henson does return to playing this season then it should be at the Ospreys after the leeway he has been granted to deal with off-field matters.

As well as his injury problems, Henson split from singer Charlotte Church, his fiancee and mother of his two children, in June.

"We... respected his privacy and gave him what he needed, the time off he asked from the game, he needed time off from the game," Johnson said.

If you sign the contract you honour it and that's the way I view it

Ospreys director of coaching Scott Johnson

"He was a contracted employer and we made a commitment to him that we'd wait and allow him to do that and I've yet to have another conversation with the lad.

"The Ospreys in this case have been really fair and we've got to be fair across the board to what we stand for as an organisation.

"I can't speak on behalf of the board, I can only speak on behalf of rugby in the fact of the message that we're sending young kids.

"You agree to sign a contract, your employers have been nothing but careful with you, respectful of you and showed plenty of courtesy toward you. A contract is both ways.

"If you sign the contract you honour it and that's the way I view it, and I view life that way."

Johnson took over the director's role at the Liberty Stadium after Henson had begun his sabbatical and says there are others within the Ospreys organisation who feel let down by his actions.

"The modern world tells you not to be let down so much, you can't take it so personally," Johnson added.

"The reality is - not so much me because Gavin's made that decision before I came - I feel sorry for the people that have known him for a lot of time and put a lot of effort into him.

"A couple of the board members have got really close to the lad and have protected the lad and I feel sorry for them, because you spend so much time with people you don't want to feel let down.

"This game, we still like to have our values. We were the last of the sports to go professional and I think those old values have got to be adhered to in some regard because it's important for our sport."

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