Gavin Henson aims to reclaim place in Wales squad
GAVIN Henson would love to get back into the Wales squad and admits the prospect of a recall is driving him to succeed at London Welsh.
The 30-year-old starred for the Red Dragons as they won the 2005 and 2008 Six Nations Grand Slams, and was a member of the British Lions team that toured New Zealand seven years ago.
However, Henson's crown has slipped in recent years as injuries have compounded an unstable period, which saw him take a lengthy sabbatical from the game.
He is now showing signs of a revival at London Welsh under old Ospreys mentor Lyn Jones, where he hopes to catch the eye of the national team once more.
"I suppose it is on the back burner but I'd love to try and get back into that Welsh team," Henson told Press Association Sport.
"That is the drive I have every day when I go into training I am thinking about trying to get back there.
"Can I do it? I am not sure yet. It is a big task to try and play every week for London Welsh and play at 10 and play consistently well.
"In that respect, I am a million miles off Wales at the moment but I'll just keep going and see what happens."
Henson has never been far away from Warren Gatland's team when fit and available and was included in Wales' pre-2011 World Cup training squad.
A fractured cheekbone put paid to any chance of being involved in the Red Dragons' autumn internationals and caretaker coach Robert Howley suggested he needs a full season under his belt - something Henson wholeheartedly agrees with.
"There we are then," he said. "I didn't hear that he said that, but that is exactly how I feel and what I need to do.
"Until that happens then I will not be called upon by Wales whatsoever.
"I need a full season, to get through it and then we'll see what happens from there.
"My performances are okay. I'd like them to get better but you've got to start somewhere.
"I am pretty happy with where I am at training. It is just about transferring all the skills and everything onto the field for 80 minutes.
"I think my performances could get a lot better then but I think I am doing ok at the moment."
Henson not only remains hopeful of a Wales call-up but has half an eye on appearing at a first World Cup in 2015.
"I've always said that's the way, that I always miss the World Cup," the fly-half said, having missed out on three previous tournaments.
"It is there but 2015? It is a while away. I'm in my thirties now but I am hoping to. I am hoping to be still playing and playing well around that time. Who knows what will happen then."
For the time being, though, Henson is focused on continuing London Welsh's surprising Aviva Premiership form.
Many had expected the Exiles to go down without so much of a whimper in the first season in the top flight yet they have upset the apple cart and lie 10th in the standings.
"I think for me it is just important to keep on enjoying my rugby, be part of this team and I just try and make us safe this year and keep us in the league," Henson added.
"If I can do that then I will be proud of myself and will see what happens on the back off of that."