World Cup - Henson named in Wales squad

Sat, 04 Jun 20:30:00 2011

Gavin Henson was named in Wales's preliminary 45-man squad for the World Cup after featuring in the 31-28 defeat by the Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday, his first international appearance for two years.

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The versatile back, who is without a club, played for 61 minutes before being replaced by debutant Scott Williams.

Coach Warren Gatland will reduce the squad to 30 on August 22, one week before the players fly out to New Zealand for the World Cup which begins in September.

Henson's Wales return against the Barbarians divided opinion with some pundits saying he had not done enough to justify his callup.

The 29-year-old was a key member of the Six Nations Grand Slam-winning teams of 2005 and 2008 but has since been beset by injuries and off-field problems.

Henson was released from his contract with Saracens in February after just two months with the London side. He then joined French club Toulon on a short-term deal and has not been offered a new contract there.

His pass allowed George North to open the scoring on Saturday but Wales were denied victory when Isa Nacewa went over for a last-minute try.

PA Sport

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