British & Irish Lion Gavin Henson is enjoying being back on centre stage after coming through his first match in five months in the European Cup defeat at Leicester.
However, not even the Welsh international’s presence could prevent his Ospreys regional side from going down to a 30-12 reverse by the double European Cup champions.
Within minutes of the start Henson waltzed through the Leicester midfield and looked certain to score before cutting inside where he was snapped up by British Lions colleague Ollie Smith.
But Henson was relieved there was no recurrence of the groin problem which has kept him from playing since appearing for the Lions in New Zealand last summer.
He said: "We felt pretty dangerous in attack when we had the ball in our hands.
"And the first time I have the ball in my hand for five and a half months, I mess it up.
"I was in but it is difficult when you have been off the pace.
"I’ve only just started full training last week so everything is happening quickly. It was one of those things.
"It’s the first time in a year that I’ve felt no pain in my groin."
Now Henson has proved some of his fitness, he wants to build on that as the countdown starts towards Wales’ Six Nations Grand Slam defence
He played the full 80 minutes at Leicester and added: "I’m not interested in playing half a game or being told to come off later in the game.
"My mindset was to play the 80 minutes. I didn’t know what my fitness was.
"I was being a bit lazy out there, to be honest, and there were a couple of incidents and chase-backs that I didn’t really chase.
"I was conserving energy but I was fine. I can push it on a lot more next week."
Henson admitted that to lead by six points at half-time but then to lose by 18 was ‘disappointing’ and said:
"I watched them (Leicester) on TV last week against Northampton. They did well in the first half but then came back and won. They did the same to us today.
"We have to win our set-pieces and once they get you in your 22, it is hard to get out."