Lions dream has died, says Henson

Wales centre feels 'cursed' after injury ends his hopes of making South Africa tour
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The Independent Online

Gavin Henson said he felt cursed and questioned his future in rugby yesterday after his hopes of touring South Africa this year with the British and Irish Lions were left in tatters by the ankle ligaments he damaged at the weekend. His admission came on the day it was revealed Henson had been cautioned by police over his behaviour on a night out in Cardiff in February

Henson, together with three other Wales players, had already been reprimanded by the Welsh Rugby Union over the incident. The four were out in Cardiff the day after the Six Nations victory over England.

Henson, Andy Powell, Rhys Thomas and Jonathan Thomas each admitted to "varying degrees of regrettable conduct", a statement from the WRU said at the time. A police spokesman said yesterday: "South Wales Police has investigated an allegation of assault at a premises in St Mary Street, Cardiff, on Sunday February 15 at around 9pm. A 27-year-old male has been cautioned in relation to the incident."

It capped a miserable couple of days for Henson who was injured playing for Ospreys against Gloucester on Saturday. His club physio said it was unlikely he would be able to play again until May. "It is a complete nightmare again, I can't believe my luck," Henson told the BBC. "I'm pretty down and depressed about it, maybe I'm cursed. The injury will probably rule me out of the Lions tour. It'll be a pretty brave decision to take me now as I'm probably a bit of a liability with my injuries. This season is probably a miss now."

Asked about whether or not he had a future in the game, he said: "Those thoughts run through my head. When I get knocked out with an injury, it is soul-destroying. Is it worth it? It is pretty tough off the field. Rugby has gone so professional you start to lose the enjoyment side of it."

The Lions squad is due to be named on 21 April. They will play 10 matches, including three Tests against the world champion Springboks, from 30 May to 4 July. "We can confirm that Gavin has suffered damage to the ligaments on both the lateral and medial sides of his right ankle," Chris Towers, the Ospreys physio, said.

"Although the injury is not so severe that he will require surgery, he will require a spell of at least two weeks in a walking cast before he can start to gradually get back to normal activity. At this stage, in light of the nature and extent of the ligament damage, we are predicting a four- to six-week spell on the sidelines before Gavin will be ready for action again."