Well he finally went and did it.
Gavin Henson is too loose for a sport that venerates binge-drinking and terrible laddish ‘banter’. He had the keys to the kingdom; he was living the dream of thousands of young Welsh lads (and the dream of many of their fathers too) and he threw it all away for a few hours of booze-fueled hedonism.
Earlier today Henson and the Cardiff Blues – his third club in less than two years – parted company ‘with immediate effect’ after the latest bout of ridiculous behavior from the biggest waste of talent Welsh rugby has ever seen.
At some point potential runs out. Henson’s rugby career spluttered but never truly caught fire
The incident that caused his unceremonious sacking occurred on the flight back from Glasgow to Cardiff. According to sources on the plane, a bleary-eyed and pissed Henson was swigging neat vodka and mouthing off to his fellow players. It is also reported that he questioned the veracity of centre Jamie Roberts leg-injury and was involved in an altercation on the plane. This isn’t the place to go into details, but needless to say Flybe have suspended him from flying with them for six months as well.
Henson isn’t some lower league university lout, playing for ‘lash, stash and gash’ on a Wednesday. He is a two-time Grand Slam winner with Wales and a player that Warren Gatland has always rated and supported, even during Henson’s short-lived self-exile to Toulon. He was – still is, on rare occasion- an exciting, instinctive and world-class rugby player.
But no longer.
The bright lights and silicone of the media world seem to have him totally in his grip now. He is now at the tipping point of his playing career: Will any professional outfit seriously risk team cohesion and morale to bring such a loose cannon on board? I doubt it. Even the iron-fist of Dean Richards at Newcastle Falcons might never break Henson in. Steve Diamond at Sale has his hands full next season with golf-buggy fan Andy Powell and Danny Cipriani. He is likely to head into mediocrity as a third-rate talking head or pretty face on shit daytime reality.
There’s an old rugby adage I learned a few years ago that Henson probably never knew: ‘Hardwork only beats talent when talent doesn't work hard’ It simply means that talent only works for you if you work with it. At some point potential runs out. Henson’s rugby career spluttered but never truly caught fire. He was given more last chances most people have hot dinners and, when all is said and done, he only has himself to blame for such a damp squib of a playing history.
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