Gavin Henson tips Bath duo Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph to shine for England


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The Independent Online

Gavin Henson may be restricted to bonus-point cameos for Bath - witness his brilliant blind-side break and no-look pass for Olly Woodburn’s try at the last knockings of Saturday’s 31-24 loss at Northampton – but the desire to represent Wales still burns within him. And in the meantime, Henson is getting a close look at some of England’s most talked about talent in the Bath backline.

“I think Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph are the best centre partnership in the Premiership,” Henson said after a nip-and-tuck match at Franklin’s Gardens that left the champions Northampton second in the Premiership, one place above Bath. “Jonathan loves that outside break, he’s one of the best 13s I’ve ever played with. And Kyle’s got unbelievable talent, that’s starting to come through now, properly.”

At the age of 32, the closest Henson has come recently to adding to his 33 Wales caps was being picked for a trial match last May that he was prevented from taking part in by Premiership rules on player release. At Bath, he covets the fly-half jersey but that is the property of England’s George Ford. Both Ford and Eastmond lack inches compared with the likes of Luther Burrell, not to mention Sam Burgess, the gargantuan rugby leaguer who will join Bath next month. But Henson said: “Kyle is so physical, he’s one of the strongest, most powerful players in our squad. I feel he has a presence. He’s powerful, fast and so  balanced.”