Henson hits O'Driscoll with gouging allegation

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The Independent Online

Henson writes in his book, which is being serialised in a Sunday paper, that Ireland's captain swore at him and called him "cocky" during Wales' 32-10 win. O'Driscoll criticised Henson last week for comments in his book, My Grand Slam Year, about other players on the Lions tour.

The Wales and Ospreys back writes that the gouging incident occurred early in the Ireland game after a tackle from O'Driscoll's centre partner Kevin Maggs.

"As I was on the ground, O'Driscoll came in and tried to 'jackal' me - a term we use to mean stealing the ball from your opponent on the ground," writes Henson. "But he also decided to pull my hair and tried to gouge my eye for good measure, saying, 'How do you like that?' There was a real flash of anger in his eyes."

The former Wales and Lions fly-half Barry John said that Henson may come to regret his revelations.

"It will be interesting to see the kind of reaction he gets when he bumps into fellow Lions in the Six Nations," he said.

Henson also takes aim at the issue of players representing countries other than those of their birth.

"I honestly feel that three years of living in Wales does not make you Welsh," he wrote. "Neither does having a Welsh grandfather if you were born and raised overseas."

The Wales lock forward Brent Cockbain is Australian by birth.