Irish play down Henson link

London Irish coach Toby Booth has cooled the speculation that linked his club to former Lions tourist Gavin Henson last month. [more]

Irish play down Henson link

London Irish coach Toby Booth has cooled the speculation that linked his club to former Lions tourist Gavin Henson last month.

The Exiles were touted as a possible suitor for the Wales and Ospreys star after he admitted he was seeking a move to a London club.

Booth initially said he would be interested in Henson but later declared there was less than a one per cent chance of him signing the 28-year-old.

Henson has not played for the Ospreys in 18 months and is currently pursuing other ventures.

But ahead of the Exiles’ Heineken Cup clash with the Swansea-based outift, Booth has admitted that signing Henson was pure speculation.

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"I had a conversation with a journalist who asked me whether we would be interested in Gavin," said Booth.

"My answer to that was I would never say I’m not interested in any player.

"It was no more than that. I’ve had no conversation, no contact, no anything with him or his club.

"I said what I said and the world went mad!

"We are not here for Gavin Henson. We are not here to help his rehab or do whatever he wants to do. We are an ambitious club that stands for certain things culturally.

"If a situation arose where we thought he would be part of that and fit into that, then of course we would consider it."

Regardless of where Henson ends up, Booth is hoping the Strictly Come Dancing contenstant can get his rugby career back on track.

"You just hope for his sake that something can be sorted out," Booth continued.

"He’s had a bit of trauma in his life and there’s a slightly morose aspect to it where some people are always looking at other people’s demise.

"But rugby needs characters and good players playing and, on his day Gavin has proven he’s a good player.”

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