Ex-Wales star Gavin Henson set for RL bow

·1-min read

Former Wales flyhalf Gavin Henson, one of the more colourful figures in British rugby union, is set to make his rugby league debut at the age of 39 against Widnes, the team that courted him early in his turbulent career.

Henson has switched codes to join League 1 club West Wales Raiders, whose first match of the 2021 season will be a Challenge Cup tie against former Super League club Widnes.

Henson, who won 33 caps for Wales and also played for the British & Irish Lions, had a storied career in which his off-field romances, most notably with singer Charlotte Church, with whom he has a child, would make national headlines.

Henson said several rugby league clubs showed an interest in him when he was a young player but he rejected their advances on the advice of former Swansea coach Clive Griffiths.

"I told Clive a few clubs were interested but he said I only really wanted to go there if it was St Helens or Wigan and it was neither of those two clubs," he said.

"I think it was Widnes. But I did contemplate it a little bit. It's something I wish I did, but didn't. It's nice now to have a go at this level and see where it takes me."

The Llanelli-based Raiders shocked the game with the capture of Henson and former Super League Man of Steel Rangi Chase, a former Widnes player.