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Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Monday, 2 May 2011 10:39 UK

Gavin Henson given reprieve by Toulon

Gavin Henson was hoping for a long-term deal with Toulon
Henson's long-term future at the club remains uncertain

Gavin Henson's suspension by Toulon has been lifted following the outcome of the French club's disciplinary process.

The 29-year-old had been given a one-week ban after an incident with his team-mates in a nightclub.

"President Mourad Boudjellal and Toulon's sporting staff have decided to reintegrate Welsh centre Gavin Henson into the Toulon squad," said Toulon.

Henson, who will be considered to face Montellier on Saturday, is keen to stay beyond the end of this season.

He signed a five month deal when he joined from Saracens in February, and the contract includes an option for another two years.

"Gavin has had a difficult two weeks and has been fully aware of what has been reported in the press, but he remained confident that once the club had concluded its enquiries then the situation would be resolved," said his agent, Matt Ginvert.

"Gavin is now pleased to be back in training and preparing for this weekend's important match against Montpellier and he is looking forward to playing a big part in a successful Toulon side in future seasons."

Toulon made no mention of his longer-term future at the club in their statement on Monday, which simply said his suspension had ended.

The Wales and Lions centre, who last featured for his country in 2009, has played only two games since moving to the south of France.

All seemed well when he made an immediate impression by creating and scoring a try in his debut in a 38-10 win over Stade Francais in the Top 14.

He played in the next league game when Toulon boosted their chances of grabbing a play-off place by beating Toulouse 21-9 at home.

But his penchant for controversy resurfaced again when he was given a week's suspension for failing to "respect the code of good behaviour defined by the club" during a night out with team-mates after that match.

He met Toulon's officials on Wednesday to give his side of the story, and the club took until Monday to consider their verdict.

President Boudjellal had insisted Henson would be granted a fair hearing, although he conceded he did have problems with a player whose career is becoming synonymous with off-field problems rather than playing brilliance.

"This week I have tried to find out what happened because I have to make a decision which is the most objective possible," said Boudjellal last week.

"I think I know now what happened, so I will make decisions on Monday. We are not here to back him into a corner. He is a boy who makes mistakes sometimes. He's not the only one in rugby. There are others."

He added: "You can tell that he's a great player. He's a cut above and makes me think of Sonny Bill Williams. They are boys who are cuts above. But sometimes they hit rock bottom."

After a self-imposed 18-month rugby exile because of injury and personal problems, Henson returned to the rugby field in December 2010 after negotiating his release from his Ospreys contract to join Saracens.

Four appearances later, he made a surprise move to the south of France to join Toulon on a five-month deal. But a calf injury suffered playing for Sarries had delayed his debut until early April.

His impressive debut prompted Wales assistant coach, Rob Howley, to say Henson was "very likely" to play for the national side against the Barbarians on 4 June.

But this latest indiscretion has raised severe doubts over his chances of winning his 32nd cap, and the Welsh Rugby Union want to meet Henson to discuss the situation.

Andy Powell, suspended by his club London Wasps following a bar brawl, has also been invited to such a meeting.

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see also
Dragons admit Henson 'interest'
30 Apr 11 |  Welsh
Best wants WRU to 'manage' Henson
29 Apr 11 |  Welsh
Turner urges Dragons to sign Henson
29 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union
WRU wants to meet Henson & Powell
27 Apr 11 |  Welsh
Henson given one-week Toulon ban
18 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union
Henson in line for Wales return
07 Apr 11 |  Welsh
Henson scores try in Toulon debut
02 Apr 11 |  Welsh
Henson completes switch to Toulon
03 Feb 11 |  Saracens
Gavin Henson signs for Saracens
28 Oct 10 |  Showbiz

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