Wednesday, 8 September 2010

What Gav did next...

Gavin Henson has been in the news twice today in two equally mystifying stories.  Put them together and the whole Henson Show veers into territory of the totally ridiculous.  I didn't think I could lose any more respect for the man who had such a bright rugby career ahead of him, but today has been a watershed in the fame-hungry quest of a player who was arguably one of the most talented in his generation.

Gav pulls on a Wales shirt for the first time in 18 months...
...before donning a glittery matador outfit and coating himself in Ronseal woodstain.
First up, the sometime Wales and Ospreys centre is the face of the Welsh Rugby Union's new shirt launch.  Pretty laughable as he hasn't represented Wales for a year and a half.  Still, I suppose it was a nice photo opportunity and gave him the chance to have his glowing orange face emblazoned on a 100ft poster which was draped across the Millennium Stadium.

So does this mean Henson is targeting a return to rugby after 18 months of unpaid absence from club and country?

Er, not any time soon.  The grand unveiling of the new kit coincided with Gav prancing out from behind a pair of crushed velvet curtains to be officially announced as one of the sequin-clad "stars" of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.  What a piece of timing that was.  The WRU must be thrilled, and they're not the only ones.

For starters, Gav's (former) Wales team-mates were perplexed by his Welsh rugby poster-boy status.  Jamie Roberts, his one-time centre partner, said: "Is this an insult to current Welsh international players... wonder what the Welsh public will think?!"

Speedy Welsh hobbit Shane Williams echoed the sentiment: "It is a little bit strange for us really having not seeing a lot of Gav, especially on the rugby field and training paddocks."

Yes, it is Shane.  And do you know why?  It's because Gav has been far too busy trekking up fjords and slapping on the fake-tan for ITV1's new show for fame hungry Z-listers, 71 Degrees North, which just so happens to air this Saturday.  Oh and who can forget the televisual gold that was Gavin Henson: Human Guinea Pig?  A show which could have seen him electrocuted if Bravo been slapdash with health and safety.
To my untrained eye it seems that Henson is stalking fame like a rabid Big Brother contestant who was tossed out of the house in the first week.  The former Mr Charlotte Church is hardly the most charismatic of sportsmen - if you read my review of his frankly quite dire Human Guinea Pig show you will know I think he is the personification of a fence: covered in a teak woodstain finish, just as wooden and probably about as bright.

By my calculations, if twinkle-toed Gav does go the distance with Strictly and makes it to the final, he will only have nine months to revive his rugby career before the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Is nine months long enough for a rugby rebirth?  Who knows, but if Henson is to stand any chance of getting on the plane to New Zealand he better quickstep back to training and stop fandangoing about trying to get in the limelight.

Just saying.

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