Wales centre Gavin Henson set for Blues Welsh derby debut

Gavin Henson
Gavin Henson has won 33 Wales caps since his debut in Japan in 2001

Justin Burnell expects Gavin Henson to make his long-awaited Cardiff Blues debut in one of their Pro 12 Welsh derbies over the festive period.

The Wales international centre hoped to return from the wrist injury that ended his World Cup dream in Blues' on Friday.

But Henson, who has been injured since joining the Blues in October, may come back against Dragons on 23 December.

"Everyone is excited about Gav," said Blues coach Burnell.

"We were informed by our physios that he will be taking full part in training on Thursday.

"Then let's get a full week of training next week then hopefully start pinpointing some games to come back.

"Obviously we've got the Dragons on the 23rd and the Ospreys on New Year's Day and hopefully he can take part in one of those games."

If the 29-year-old does not play against the Newport Gwent Dragons at the Cardiff City Stadium, he could make his Blues debut at his former club Ospreys for their Liberty Stadium derby.

Henson has not played on a regular basis for two-and-a-half years due to a high-profile rugby sabbatical.

But his latest return was dashed when he dislocated his right wrist in Wales' 19-9 win over England on 13 August.

Now double-Grand Slam winner Henson hopes to work his way into a strong Blues back-line for their busy festive and new year period.

Former New Zealand international Casey Laulala scored his third try of the season in Blues' 38-0 win over Aironi last month while Laulala's first-choice centre partner Jamie Roberts is in top form after an impressive World Cup with Wales.

Although Henson has played most of his career at centre, he would like to play at fly-half but current Blues number 10 Dan Parks is also playing well.

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