Newport Gwent Dragons admit Gavin Henson 'interest'

Gavin Henson
Henson joined Toulon in February following a brief spell with Saracens

Newport Gwent Dragons have admitted they would be open to signing Gavin Henson should the Wales centre be released by French giants Toulon.

Henson will discover if he has a future with the French Top 14 club on Monday after breaching disciplinary code.

But Dragons team manager Robert Beale admitted that the Dragons are looking to strengthen at centre.

"We're definitely looking to add to our squad in that position for next season," Beale told BBC's Scrum V show.

Former Dragons head coach Paul Turner has publicly called on his former region to recruit Henson if the troubled 31-times capped Wales star was available.

And Beale revealed: "We're always looking for high-quality players and Gavin is definitely one of those, so I guess Paul Turner is right... we would be interested.

"We have to wait and see how that [the situation at Toulon] unfolds and see where Gavin sees his future in rugby going forward.

Henson was suspended for a week by Toulon on 18 April following an incident involving a team-mate at a nightclub.

The 29-year-old has only played two games since joining the big-spending French club in February, but did score a try on his Toulon debut against Stade Francais two weeks ago after recovering from a long-term leg problem.

"Gavin is a quality player but we're also looking at other quality players to come in and strengthen our squad," Beale added.

Former England coach Dick Best has urged the Welsh Rugby Union to demand that Henson play under their jurisdiction at one of Wales' regions.

Best, who is now an agent, believes the WRU should take responsibility to keep a close eye on the former Ospreys and Saracens player

"If I were the Welsh Rugby Union I'd bring him under the auspices of the WRU," he told the BBC's Scrum V Radio.

"Make him play for whoever, Cardiff or Dragons or whoever, and monitor him and just say 'listen, we're going to give you one last chance'."

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal had said Henson was "difficult to manage."

Henson, along with another troubled Wales star Andy Powell, have been invited to a meeting by the Welsh Rugby Union to discuss their apparent misdemeanours.

"Following recent reported incidents, WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis and Wales head coach Warren Gatland have requested meetings with Gavin Henson and Andy Powell over the course of the coming weeks," a WRU statement said.

"Until those meetings take place there will be no further comment from the WRU."

It remains to be seen whether Henson - who can play full-back, centre or fly-half - will win a recall for his country in Wales' World Cup warm-ups ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand next September.

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