Gavin Henson could be long-term Blue - Peter Thomas

Gavin Henson has signed an eight-month contract with the Cardiff Blues
Gavin Henson has signed an eight-month contract with the Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues chairman Peter Thomas hopes new signing Gavin Henson will finish his playing days at the region.

Henson signed an initial eight-month contract with the Blues on Tuesday after being a free agent since leaving French club Toulon in May.

Thomas believes the 29-year-old will settle in well at the Cardiff region.

"At his age now and stage in life I think Cardiff Blues will be the place where he will play the rest of his rugby," said Thomas.

After having an 18-month break from rugby Henson had brief spells with Saracens and then Toulon.

But Thomas expects Henson, who won the last of his 33 caps against England in the summer, to settle at the Blues.

"I think it's important for Gavin to find his feet and settle in. He has had a difficult couple of years as we well know. It's been well documented.

"He needs all our support now to help him get back to his best and I'm quite sure after this settling in period of eight months Gavin Henson will get a much longer term contract with the Blues."

Added Thomas: "Gavin Henson has always been on our radar and we have always considered him, as I'm sure every rugby fan has in Wales has, as such a world class player.

"Gavin on the world stage is a phenomenal rugby player and we absolutely delighted to have the opportunity of him joining the Blues.

"And I'm quite sure that he will settle and I'm quite sure as a result of that he will get back to the world-class performer we know he can be.

Interview: Lyn Jones on Gavin Henson

"It [Henson joining the Blues] came to the forefront when I was talking to [Wales and Blues flanker] Martyn Williams when they [Wales] came back form their training camp in Poland.

"He made the comment how amazed and impressed he was with Gavin Henson. I said to Martyn: 'do you think he wants to get back into the game on a serious basis?' He said: 'absolutely'."

There has already been debate which position Henson will figure in at the Blues.

Henson, who is recovering from a broken wrist which put paid to his hopes of making the Wales World Cup squad, has played the majority of his rugby at inside centre.

But with Jamie Roberts and Casey Laulala having formed a firm partnership at centre his best position would probably be at fly-half, although the Blues have Dan Parks and Ceri Sweeney in that position.

"He's played 12. He's played 13. He's played 10 and he's played 15. We think the first thing we have to do is get him settled in the squad and between him and the coaches ultimately they will decide which best position he is suited to play.

"This is a win-win situation for everyone."

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