Loathe him or hate him, you just can’t like him. The man previously known as Mr. Charlotte Church, Gavin Henson (28) has announced that he has between 8 and 10 years of rugby left in him and is stil pestering Warren Gatland for a place on the Welsh national side.
Why the dislike for the divine bryl-creemed one? Well….. where’s to start? Just recently (this week, in fact), Mr. Church made a high profile move from Ospreys (Wales) to Saracens (England). Fair enough. His two very young children live with their mother and he obviously wants to be nearer to them. Ms. Church, the former child soprano once voted ‘Rear of the Year’ (no, I’m not making this up) is based in London for her singing career and took the wee Hensons with her after the wonderful Welsh couple split earlier this year. Naturally, a transfer to an English club by the beautiful one was on the cards. Meanwhile, Mr. Church (let’s call him Gav) has been partaking of a Saturday evening BBC show called Strictly Come Dancing as a ballroom dancing contestant with a serious chance of winning (no, really, I’m not making this up), and Gav has stated that his move to England will diminish the attention he has been garnering back in Wales as a result of the show (so, nothing to do with rugby then). Apparently, he is not so well-known in England. In Ireland he’s really well-known for gifting the Irish national team a 6 nations fixture a few year’s back after a piss-poor performance in the no. 10 jersey.
So, what do the Saracens think of his turn on the floorboards doing the cha-cha and the bossa-nova? Have they told him the fun is over and to stop poncing about in those skin-tight keks, now let’s get back to playing some rugby, okay? Well, here is the official release from Saracens camp: “The player’s path back to full match fitness will dovetail with his participation in the show.” (Jesus, you really couldn’t make this up).
Gav seems to be getting more royal treatment than Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo put together. But it doesn’t end there. Earlier this year the WRU launched their new national jersey for the 2010/11 season by hanging a giant photo of a Welsh player resplendent in the new attire the entire height and width of one side of the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Who did they pick to wear this jersey? The record try-scorer and darling of Welsh rugby, Shane Williams? The utility back and handsome James Hook? The captain, Ryan Jones, even? Ha, you’ve guessed it. They picked the player with the famous ex who hadn’t touched an oval ball in anger in more than a year. There were more than a few people scratching their heads in Cardiff (and around the rugby world) that day.
Gav strongly believes that he can make a difference at Saracens and get back to the top of rugby union, cure cancer, stop the cavalry for Christmas, and play for Wales again. He is completely oblivious that Warren Gatland has not included any Welsh players from England’s Aviva Premiership for the autumn Internationals (the primary selection process for the 6 Nations). Undaunted, Gav believes that he will be selected again for the national side if he is “top of his game and playing really well” (No, really. He actually said that). His belief is based on his signing for a club that “know my desire to play for Wales again is really strong. That is basically why I got back into rugby, because I missed playing for my country, so they won’t stand in my way because they know how keen I am to play for Wales.”
That said, we really should get used to seeing the ex Mr. Church more in rumba trousers than in rugby shorts for the foreseeable future.
I wonder if Gav is related to the late, great puppeteer, Jim Henson, because he sounds like a right fucking muppet.