Henson feels the force

Gavin Henson has conceded that he has felt overwhelmed by the force of personalities around him on the British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Gavin Henson has conceded that he has felt overwhelmed by the force of personalities around him on the British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand.

Henson exudes confidence on the field, he is a gliding force with the ball in hand, a brutal kicker and powerful defender.

But, ahead of his debut against Bay of Plenty, the Wales star admitted: "I haven’t been involved in the Lions before and it was always going to be different.

"I’ve learned about the other players’ professionalism and their work ethics. I’ve probably got a bit to learn about the off-the-field stuff.

"I’m trying to improve that all the time, but sometimes I find it a bit difficult, that’s all.

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"There are a lot of experienced players in the team meetings voicing up opinions. I’m getting better and the longer I’m here then the more comfortable I’ll get."

On the field, though, Henson is a different being altogether. He runs out to start against Bay of Plenty with the chance to forge a partnership in the centres with Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll.

Opportunities to shine are likely to be rare on this tour, particularly with Henson competing for the 12 jersey with Gordon D’Arcy, Tom Shanklin and Ollie Smith.

A lot is riding for Henson on his performance, but he refuses to let it affect him.

"On the pitch is where I feel most comfortable. I have played the game since I was five. It is all I know and it is why I have this confidence on the field," he said.

"I don’t do nervous. I just enjoy the game so much. I get so excited about playing it, I don’t see the point in getting nervous.

"A Test spot is on the back of my mind but I haven’t played for a while. I am looking forward to playing with Brian O’Driscoll. He is the best centre in the world. It has been great training with him. He is someone you look up to and listen to what he says. It always makes sense.

"He speaks quite a lot outside him which helps. It’s great being with all these world-class players."

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