Cardiff Blues drop Henson for Heineken Cup clash

Gavin Henson
Gavin Henson has won 33 caps since his Wales debut against Japan in 2003

Cardiff Blues will not field Gavin Henson for their crucial Heineken Cup Pool Two clash against Racing Metro on Sunday.

BBC Sport Wales understands Henson has been dropped from the squad after three successive appearances.

The news comes as a blow to Henson's hopes of Wales Six Nations selection.

Henson started twice at full-back before taking over from injured Jamie Roberts (knee) against London Irish in Europe at the weekend.

But he will not have a last chance on the biggest club stage to impress Wales coach Warren Gatland ahead of the Six Nations.

Blues joint head coach Gareth Baber did not confirm Henson would be left out against the Paris-based club.

But speaking about the choice facing him between Henson and Evans, Baber said: "What Gavin Evans gives you, obviously, is 100% work-rate which you need in battles like you're going to have on Sunday.

"And he's known the systems a lot longer than Gavin Henson as well.

"I'm pleased in the progress Gavin Henson has made. He's probably not where, I suppose, the public and yourselves [the media] want him to be.

"But he's had a while out of the game and it was his first start [against London Irish] at 12."

Gatland names his squad for the tournament on Wednesday, 18 January with doubts lingering over Roberts' chances of making their opening game against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday, 5 February.

The blow to Henson's chances could give a boost to Ospreys successor Ashley Beck's hopes of a first call-up.

Beck has impressed for the Swansea-based region this season and could find himself in midfield competition with James Hook and Scarlets Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams during the Six Nations.

Henson joined the Blues in October 2011 after recovering from a dislocated wrist suffered in a failed bid to make Wales' 2011 World Cup squad.

The player attempted that feat while clubless, having spent time at Saracens and Toulon last season following a controversial departure from the Ospreys.


Cardiff Blues: TBC

Racing Metro: TBC

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)