Henson a potential 'tragedy'
Warren Gatland believes it would be a "tragedy" if Gavin Henson never returned to the game.
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 25/09/09 10:44am
Wales coach Warren Gatland believes it would be a "tragedy" if Gavin Henson never returned to the game.
The 27-year-old star is on indefinite leave from club side the Ospreys after struggling with injuries in recent years and has won just 31 Wales caps spread over eight seasons as a consequence.
Ospreys coach Sean Holley has raised concerns by admitting he was "unaware of what condition he [Henson] is in or where he is at" and so had no option, but to leave the centre out of his side's Heineken Cup squad.
But Gatland, for one, is keen to see the versatile back return and hopes he will be back at his best in time for the next World Cup.
"It would be a tragedy if we lost Gavin from the game," said Gatland. "He's such a rare talent and we don't want to say in five or 10 years' time that he was a player who never fulfilled his potential.
"It is important that, if and when he comes back, he is physically right. When he is in that state, he is the best player in his position in the world. It's up to him and I hope the 2011 World Cup is his motivation.
"There are a number of non-rugby issues that could cause him to quit the game. Gavin is introverted and I sympathise with the pressure he's under.
"It's difficult for him to be anonymous as every time we're in camp the headlines are about him. Some of that has been his own doing but he's big enough to admit that. I don't want to treat him as somebody special but I do feel for him."
Earlier this summer, Henson did vow to return but the longer he goes without setting a comeback date, the greater the worry over his future.