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Aviva Premiership
Henson knocked out by new team-mate
ESPN Staff
July 12, 2013
London Welsh fly-half Gavin Henson lines up a penalty kick in his first start for the Exiles, London Welsh v Saracens, Aviva Premiership, Kassam Stadium, Oxford, England, October 7, 2012.
Gavin Henson made the switch from relegated side London Welsh earlier this year © Getty Images
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Bath fly-half Gavin Henson was knocked out by a punch during an altercation with one of his new team-mates earlier this week, according to reports.

A knock out blow?

  • Gavin Henson has wasted no time in making his mark at Bath. Just four weeks after putting pen to paper with the Premiership club he finds himself embroiled in yet another headline-grabbing and reputation-shredding incident.
  • Video of the altercation highlights that he was the victim but his reputation for attracting trouble will ensure that sympathy is hard to come by and that he is singled out for just as much criticism as his alleged attacker Carl Fearns.
  • Regardless of his guilt in this matter, Henson has let down yet another club, and those officials who placed their faith in him including chief executive Nick Blofeld and director of rugby Gary Gold, by putting himself in such a situation and they may well choose to cut him loose.
  • A club that has worked hard to restore its reputation after some ugly off-field incidents in recent memory, took a gamble in signing a player with such a chequered history and would have done so on the understanding that Henson stayed away from the perils of off-field temptations that got him into trouble at the Blues and Toulon.
  • But sadly he appears unable to steer clear of those dangers and a career that once promised much due to an abundance of talent is destined to be defined by his lack of class off it.

    ESPNscrum's Graham Jenkins

The Bath Chronicle alleges that the 31-year-old former Wales international was hit by another player - rumoured to be back-row Carl Fearns - at the Pig and Fiddle pub in Bath city centre on Wednesday night. Police were reportedly called but not despatched as the group promptly left the establishment.

Eye-witnesses told the newspaper that they saw "disgusting" behaviour with one claiming Henson was knocked out cold by the punch, which came after his fellow players had reportedly goaded him about his reality TV appearances. He said: "There were about ten of them in the pub getting p****d but not being too rowdy. They seemed like they were all having a good time, apart from Henson who was strutting around like he owned the place.

"One of the other players told him to calm down and after a bit of a to-ing and fro-ing he just hit him. Henson went out like a light for about five minutes. He just lay there like a lump, right on the floor."

The club has since confirmed there was a "minor incident" in the city centre involving "a few members of the playing squad" and chief executive Nick Blofeld has vowed to get to the bottom of the matter. "We are speaking to all those involved to clarify the situation," he said. "When we have all the facts, we will make any appropriate statement."

Henson, who made the switch to Bath from relegated side London Welsh last month, is no stranger to the headlines having excelled as a player in the early part of his career and courted controversy in more recent times.

A Grand Slam winner with Wales in 2005 and 2008 and a British & Irish Lions international in New Zealand eight years ago, injuries have hampered Henson's efforts to recapture that form with the former Ospreys star now better known for his exploits off the pitch.

Henson was forced to apologise for comments regarding his team-mates following the publication of his autobiography. He later served a seven-week ban for elbowing an opponent and was charged with disorderly conduct after helping Ospreys beat Harlequins in the 2007 Anglo-Welsh Cup final - although the case was later dropped.

Henson also saw a stint with French side Toulon brought to a premature end following an altercation with two team-mates in a nightclub. Most recently he was sacked by the Cardiff Blues following an alcohol-related incident on a flight back from Scotland. He later apologised for drinking and "behaving inappropriately" but it was not enough to save him from being dismissed.

London Welsh offered him a career lifeline last year but injuries limited his input and he was unable to save them from the drop. A surprising switch to Premiership rivals Bath was confirmed just four weeks ago at which point Blofeld commented: "I think Gavin is a much more settled and mature person than that image we have in our heads."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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