Time to win says Henson

Gavin Henson has mirrored the mood of an expectant Welsh nation, by [more]

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Gavin Henson has mirrored the mood of an expectant Welsh nation, by

claring: "I think it’s our best chance to beat England for a long time."

Wales have not toppled their fierce rivals in Cardiff since 1993, when Ieuan Evans famously caught his opposite number Rory Underwood napping to score the match-winning try.

But Henson, who had just celebrated his 11th birthday the last time England left Cardiff empty-handed, believes February 5, 2005, could become a red-letter day etched into Welsh rugby folklore.

Payback time is long overdue, and if Wales are to blow the Six Nations Championship title race wide open on day one, then Henson will undoubtedly be a major architect of England’s downfall.

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He displayed magnificent autumn Test form in the key inside centre position, and far from being daunted by an appointment with the world champions, he cannot wait to further bolster his chances of making the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.
"It is going to be the biggest game of my career, but I feel I am a bit of a big-game player and I like playing in these big matches," he said.

"I feel pretty relaxed going into it, and I am confident we are going to do well. I think it’s our best chance to beat England for a long time.

"A couple of years ago, when they won the World Cup, and before that, they were unbeatable. But I think they’ve sort of lost that stigma now, with the amount of players retiring and injured.

"So we have got a really good chance of beating them, hopefully. They don’t carry that same aura of invincibility that they used to," added Henson.

"But saying that, you have only got to look at the autumn internationals, when we lost to South Africa and England more or less stuffed them. So they are still a quality team, and their front-five is pretty awesome."

While teenage rookie Mathew Tait will be England’s centre of attention tomorrow, Henson has all the skills necessary to hog the limelight. He is undoubtedly Wales’ dangerman, and the world champions must afford him close attention, or possibly pay a high price.

"I can sort of sense it on the field now that I am a bit of a marked player," said the 23-year-old.

"But I don’t mind that because, if I am a marked man, that means there should be space for other people. That’s what normally happens, and I am absolutely fine with that."

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