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Wales in South Africa 2014
Henson makes plea for Wales release
ESPN Staff
May 25, 2014
Bath's Gavin Henson carries forward, Newcastle Falcons v Bath, Kingston Park, Newcastle, September 6, 2013
Gavin Henson joined Bath last year © Getty Images
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Gavin Henson is pleading with Bath to release him for Wales' trial match ahead of their summer tour to South Africa.

The centre has been told he will not be permitted to play in the Probables v Possibles trial on May 30 because it falls outside the International Rugby Board's official Test window.

Aviva Premiership clubs are forbidden from releasing non-English players outside official IRB windows because of a ban imposed by Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL), the body responsible for England's elite clubs.

But Henson is hopeful that Bath will reject the ruling and allow him to take part in head coach Warren Gatland's preliminary squad.

"That's why I'm still playing rugby. As long as I still have a chance of playing for Wales, I'll continue," Henson told WalesOnline. "I suppose I could play next week in the trial now but PRL won't let Bath release me.

"I genuinely hope they might reconsider it but I've not heard anything so, at the moment, I don't think I'll be able to play. I looked at the Probables versus Possibles match-ups and think I was third-choice. At least being picked for the trial means the Wales door is still open, so that's a good thing."

Henson has not played for Wales since he broke his arm in a World Cup warm-up match against England in August 2011. But with Rhys Priestland injured and Owen Williams waiting on the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, Wales are short of options at fly-half and Henson could travel as cover for Dan Biggar.

If Bath do release Henson to play on Friday, they can expect a hefty fine from PRL - Northampton were slapped with a £60,000 punishment when they allowed George North to appear in Wales' Autumn international against Australia last December.

"I would love to get back playing for Wales and I'd like to play ten more," said Henson. "You never know what's going to happen but I hope I get another chance with Wales and would love to go to South Africa."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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