Gavin Henson should be omitted from Wales squad, says Emyr Lewis

Gavin Henson
Henson's last Six Nations appearance was against Italy in March 2009

Former Wales flanker Emyr Lewis says Gavin Henson does not deserve a place in the national squad for the Six Nations.

Henson has been left out of the Cardiff Blues squad for Sunday's crucial Heineken Cup clash with Racing Metro.

But the 29-year-old, who has played twice for Wales since 2009, is reportedly set to be named in the squad by coach Warren Gatland on Wednesday.

"To be perfectly truthful I don't think he deserves to be there," said Lewis.

After returning from injury in December to make his Blues debut at full-back, Henson played at centre for the first time for his new club in Saturday's victory over London Irish in the Heineken Cup.

But he has been overlooked for the Racing Metro encounter, where a bonus-point victory will ensure qualification for the quarter-finals, depriving him of the opportunity to impress before Wales' Six Nations opener against Ireland on 5 February.

"Looking at the way he has played during the last three games [for the Blues] he hasn't been at his best," added Lewis.

"On what I've seen so far there are far better players than him playing better rugby.

"I'm not saying they are better players than him, I'm just saying at current form he [Gatland] has to pick other players.

"I don't think he would have been picked at outside-half so the centres would have picked themselves.

"It would be Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and I would also include Ashley Beck because currently he's on top of his game and he's definitely one for the future."

Lewis, who played for Llanelli and Cardiff, does not believe Henson has been given a chance by the Blues to play in his preferred position of outside-half.

"It's unfortunate he's been moved from full-back to inside centre especially thinking Dan Parks is the outside-half," he said.

"He's [Parks] renowned for his kicking game but not very much for his creative flair.

"It would have been far better if they had brought him [Henson] in at the beginning of the season to play at outside-half.

"He hasn't had the opportunity of doing that and it is unfair on him in fairness."

Wales' 30-man training squad is likely to feature the majority who performed well at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Matthew Rees missed the tournament because of injury but returned to action as a replacement during the defeat against Australia at the Millennium Stadium in December.

However the Scarlets hooker is unlikely to regain the captaincy with Gatland set to keep faith with World Cup skipper Sam Warburton.

The fitness of Jamie Roberts remains a concern with the Blues centre yet to feature for his region this year after suffering a knee injury against the Dragons in late December.

However, Roberts is likely to be included in the squad, who will spend a pre-Championship training camp in Poland.

Gatland will be without injured locks Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris while Dragons hooker Lloyd Burns is another injury absentee.

Emyr Lewis expects Gatland to call up a number of new faces, including Ospreys' Matthew Morgan, as Wales prepare for the Six Nations opener in Dublin.

"It's difficult to know the way Warren Gatland is thinking," added Lewis.

"Is he looking at the four-year plan? If he is then it wouldn't surprise me if the likes of Matthew Morgan would be included just to develop him as a player.

"If he comes in I don't think that Stephen Jones would be included because obviously he will not be available during the next World Cup."

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