Henson admits Lions dream could be over

Gavin Henson has confessed he could be "too much of a liability" for Ian McGeechan to consider taking on this summer's British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa. [more]

Henson admits Lions dream could be over

Gavin Henson has confessed he could be "too much of a liability" for Ian McGeechan to consider taking on this summer’s British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

The double Grand Slam winning Welsh centre has been ruled out for at least another six weeks after damaging his ankle ligaments in the Ospreys’ EDF Energy Cup semi-final defeat last weekend. 

And the 2005 Lion now believes that is curtains for his chances of making a second tour to tackle the world champion Springboks this summer. 

Head Coach Ian McGeechan names his 35-36 strong tour party on 21 April and Henson won’t be back in action until mid May – leaving him with only one Ospreys game to play before the team leaves on 24 May. 

"I’m not sure what my Lions chances are now. I’m out for 6-8 weeks and that would probably rule me out," said Henson. 

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"It would be a brave decision to take me now. I could be a liability with my injuries – I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. 

"It is a nightmare and I just can’t believe my luck. I am pretty down and disappointed about facing another re-hab programme. 

"I’ll have to see what happens and re-think things in the summer. Right now, though, it feels as though I’m cursed." 

Henson missed Wales’ Autumn internationals after undergoing surgery on his Achilles and then pulled-out of the Six Nations squad after damaging his calf at the start of the year in what was the latest set-back in an injury plagued career. 

The controversial Ospreys mega-star had made just nine starts in three years for Wales since damaging his shoulder playing for the British Lions in 2005. 

Groin surgery and suspension wrecked 2006 before he tore cruciate knee ligaments in 2007. He then missed out on the 2007 World Cup with an Achilles problem. 

He returned from a broken hand to spearhead last year’s Grand Slam success only to sit out the next six months following Achilles surgery. Now he faces more surgery and a couple of weeks with his foot in plaster. 

"It has been another difficult year for me. I’ve been up and down over the last four years with injuries," he said. 

"It has been tough because I haven’t had a run of games – there has been no consistency and I haven’t been able to enjoy my rugby. When I came back from the last injury I wanted to have a run of games, but it hasn’t been possible. 

"Now I’ve been knocked-out again by another injury. I do love playing rugby. Being out on the field is what I love and I still dream about the big games. 

"But they have been few and far between. I have probably only started about eight games this season – and it was the same last year, the year before that and the year before that. 

"If what I enjoy is playing the game then I’m not getting much enjoyment right now. It is tough with the way that rugby is going now. 

"Off the field the game is so professional with all the training it has started to lose some of the enjoyment." 

Still only 27, Henson still wants to fulfil his dream of playing at a World Cup, but admits this latest injury set-back has forced him to question his future. 

"Those thoughts do run through my mind, but not when I’m playing. It is soul destroying and it makes you wonder if it is all worth it," said Henson. 

"I still have good thoughts about playing rugby and I know I would really miss it." 

Henson’s latest injury, damage to ligaments on both the lateral and medial side of his right ankle, will mean more time under the surgeon’s knife and at least two weeks in a walking cast.

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