Henson no-show throws Ospreys future into doubt

GAVIN HENSON’S return to rugby was thrown into doubt after his no-show at pre-season training with the Ospreys.

Henson claimed he intends to return to rugby in the new season following an 18-month injury lay-off.

But the former British Lion was nowhere to be seen when the rest of his Ospreys team-mates reported for duty at their Swansea training base yesterday.

An Ospreys insider said: “The train has left the station and we’re carrying on as normal because you can’t afford to delay just for one passenger. The situation hasn’t changed. Gavin is still on unpaid leave and there has been no contact, so we didn’t really expect to see him at training.”

Henson, 28, has not played rugby since April 2009 following Achilles and ankle problems and now appears more interested in carving out a career on reality TV shows. He split with celebrity girlfriend Charlotte Church in May.

Meanwhile the Irish squad for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in England next month has been announced.

Fiona Coghlan, who helped Ireland to three victories in the Six Nations Championship, skippers the team as they go in search of glory.

The 26-woman squad contains a number of seasoned internationals alongside some newer faces who emerged last season. Coghlan is joined in the pack by the experienced Orla Brennan and Joy Neville along with Mary Louise Reilly and Chris Fanning, who both earned their first caps against Italy this year.

The squad has been boosted by the return of Lynne Cantwell after a spell in New Zealand. She is joined in the backs by Tania Rosser and Shannon Houston as well as the emerging Nora Stapleton, another debutante against Italy.

Ireland will open their campaign with a tough encounter against hosts and one of the pre-tournament favourites England.

The game will be televised live on Sky Sports. Ireland then play former winners and three time finalists USA in their second game with the final pool game against Kazakhstan four days later.

All the pool games are set to be played in the Surrey Sports Camp which will serve as the Rugby World Cup village for all participating teams.

IRELAND squad Forwards (14): L Austin (UL Bohemian/Munster); G Bourke (UL Bohemian/Munster); O Brennan (Blackrock/Leinster); F Coghlan (UL Bohemian/Leinster) Captain; C Fanning (Highfield/Munster), L Day (Cooke/Ulster), C Mahon (UL Bohemian/Leinster), C Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), J Neville (UL Bohemian/Munster), Y Nolan (Blackrock/Leinster), K O’Loughlin (Clonmel/Munster), M Louise Reilly (Navan/Leinster), S Ryan (Blackrock/Leinster), C Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht).

Backs (12): L Beamish (UL Bohemian/Munster), N Briggs (Clonmel/Munster), H Brosnan (Highfield/Munster), L Cantwell (UL Bohemian), A Davis (Blackrock/Leinster), E Downey (Cooke/Ulster), S Houston (Blackrock/Leinster), M Kelly (UL Bohemian/Munster), J O’Sullivan (Richmond/Exile), T Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster), J Shiels (Richmond/Leinster), N Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

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