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RUGBY: A centre of controversy - that's Henson
11:10am Tuesday 10th July 2012 in Sport
Gavin Henson, who has signed for London Welsh, rose to national prominence during the 2005 Six Nations and has maintained a high profile ever since.
The 23-year-old, renowned for his fake tan, kicked a monster penalty to seal Wales’s 11-9 over England at the Millennium Stadium, which set them on the road to the Grand Slam.
Henson’s strong performances in the centre earned him selection for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand that summer – and he played in the second Test.
However, the Ospreys man was soon courting controversy with his book – My Grand Slam Year, which led to him having to apologise to his teammates.
On the field, he was suspended for seven weeks after being found guilty of elbowing Leicester prop Alex Moreno in December 2005.
Henson, now 30, continued to match some decent performances with increasing injury problems.
He was not selected for the 2007 World Cup after failing to recover from an Achilles tendon injury.
But the next year, he started all five matches as Wales won the Six Nations under new coach Warren Gatland.
Henson was by now being labelled as the David Beckham of rugby due to his relationship with singer Charlotte Church.
The couple had a daughter and a son before splitting up in May 2010.
Henson appeared to be disillusioned with rugby when he announced he was taking a break from the game in 2009.
The following October, he joined Saracens and made his debut at Wembley on Boxing Day after taking part in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing where he was voted off in the semi-finals.
Henson left Sarries in February 2011 after only four appearances and signed for French side Toulon the following day.
Following reports of fighting with his teammates, Henson was released in May.
He made a return to the Welsh side that summer, but a wrist injury sustained against England ruled him out of the World Cup.
Henson joined Cardiff Blues in October 2011, but had his contract terminated in April this year after a drunken incident on a flight home from a match against Glasgow Warriors.
This also saw him receive a six-month ban from the airline Flybe.
Henson has also appeared in reality TV shows 71 Degrees North and The Bachelor.
He was charged with disorderly conduct over his behaviour on a train journey in December 2007, but the case was later dropped.
Now London Welsh are giving Henson a last chance to resurrect his once glittering career.
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