Gavin Henson progress pleases Wales boss Warren Gatland

Wales coach Warren Gatland said that Gavin Henson had shown enough to merit a place in Wales' 45-man preliminary World Cup squad after his Test return.

The centre, 29, ended his two-year Wales absence in the 28-31 loss to the Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday.

Henson's long pass sent George North away for Wales' first try but there was also evidence of his lack of game time.

"He [Henson] looked a bit rusty at times but I thought there were some really nice touches," Gatland said.

"He held his depth well and there was a lovely pass to put George North away for a try and that's the quality he has got.

"There were a couple of [poor] kicks, but he knows he is a bit off at the moment - but he showed some nice touches.

"We want to work with him the next few months. He has been good the last few weeks and it's frustrating that every press conference the story is about Gavin.

Barbarian players celebrate Isa Nacewa's match-winning try

"Let him play some rugby and work hard and see what shape we can get him in."

The player himself, a free agent after Toulon decided not to offer him a new contract following his brief stint in France, said he was delighted to have made his return.

Henson's 32nd cap came more than two years since his last international appearance in the 2009 RBS 6 Nations finale against Ireland.

"I am very proud today, getting back into that Welsh jersey," Henson said.

"I have really enjoyed the week, getting back in and playing today.

"But I am bitterly disappointed with my performance, there were some bad decisions I made.

"It was a good game to be involved in and it was a pity we lost in the end."

Gareth Delve was another headline inclusion in Gatland's 45-man squad, which will enter training camp before playing two Tests with England and one against Argentina in August.

Gatland will then trim his squad down to 30 before Wales depart for the World Cup in New Zealand, with the tournament getting underway in September.

Former Gloucester and Bath back-row Delve has been in the international wilderness since announcing his intention to join the Melbourne Rebels in the wake of the 2010 Six Nations.

But his impressive form as the Rebels vice-captain in Super Rugby sees Delve included.

"We have watched a few of Gareth's games," Gatland said.

"He has about a month more rugby to go as the Rebels aren't having such a great time, but he has been involved in the squad before and is playing in the southern hemisphere and is used to the conditions.

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"He has acclimatised and he may force his way in to the 30-man squad."

Newport Gwent Dragons fly-half Jason Tovey, Ospreys back-row Justin Tipuric and Scarlets lock Lou Reed are the three uncapped players in the 45-man squad.

Tovey gets the nod over the likes of Ospreys stand-off Dan Biggar and Nick Robinson, the former Cardiff Blues and Gloucester 10 who has signed for Wasps.

"We have been impressed with Jason and watched him closely," said Gatland.

"He is a left-foot kicking option and has a good kicking game, but if you look at the kicking [at goal] percentage of the 10s available to us, that is an area he can work on.

"He is in the high 50s with his kicking percentage, Nicky is in the low 60s, and you look at guys like Stephen Jones and James Hook who are kicking at almost 80% accuracy.

"To win Test match rugby you need to kick your goals at the highest level. We have been impressed with his general play and he has done enough in attack to be selected."

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