Henson handed international lifeline in Wales trial game

Gavin Henson enjoyed a strong season with club side Bath. Photo: PA

Gavin Henson has been given the chance of resurrecting his international career by Wales coach Warren Gatland after he was named in the ‘Probables’ squad for this month international trial match at the Liberty Stadium.

The game will be the first of its kind in 14 years and will see a ‘Possibles’ squad face the ‘Probables’ ahead of this summer’s two-Test tour of South Africa.

Henson, 32, has not featured for Wales since dislocating his wrist in the build-up to squad selection ahead of the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand but has now seemingly been given the chance to reignite his Wales aspirations.

Gavin Henson last played for Wales, against England in 2011. Credit: PA

52 players have been named across the two squads, which will be coached by Rob Howley and Robin McBryde.

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the Probables, while Matthew Rees leads the Possibles.

Two uncapped players will line up in Rob Howley’s Probables, in Dragons prop Owen Evans and Ospreys back Sam Davies alongside 19 of last season’s Six Nations squad.

McBryde’s Possibles features 10 uncapped players including Leicester Tigers fly half Owen Williams, Phil Price (Dragons), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Kristian Dacey (Blues), Macauley Cook (Blues) and James Davies (Scarlets).

22-year-old Owen Williams is one of a number of promising young players selected. Credit: PA

The trial is a great platform for us to see all of these players up close and allow them to pit themselves against each other.It takes us back to the traditional Wales trials of old and gives players and opportunity to put their hand up for the Wales jersey.Both sides will be going hard against each other with players having a point to prove.

It's also a vital game in our preparation ahead of the tour to South Africa. The vast majority of the squad wouldn't have had any game time after last weekend and this allows us to have a meaningful match.

– Rob Howley, Head coach for the Probables

It's an important opportunity to see these players in our environment, using our language and styles.The door is always open in international rugby and it will be good to see the squads for the week leading up to the game and in a game that has a lot of pressure attached as trials always do.It's a chance to see players go head to head for the jersey and it should be a great contest.It's great to have Matthew back in the set-up. It's no coincidence his return has resulted in an upturn in form for the Blues. He brings great leadership qualities and after the year he has had its great to see him playing so well.

– Robin McBryde, Head coach for the Possibles

Probables Squad

Forwards:

  • Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Owen Evans (Dragons), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (Captain), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Bristol), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Blues), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).

Backs:

  • Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Gavin Henson (Bath), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

Possibles Squad

Forwards:

  • Paul James (Bath), Phil Price (Dragons), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Blues), Kristian Dacey (Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Scott Andrews (Blues), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Macauley Cook (Blues), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), James Davies (Scarlets), Dan Baker (Ospreys).

Backs:

  • Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys), Harry Robinson (Blues), Owen Williams (Leicester), Steven Shingler (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Blues), Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Jordan Williams (Scarlets).