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Henson set for Baa-Baas run

Wales want Gavin Henson to do his talking on the pitch as he prepares for a Test match return this weekend.

Henson will discover today whether he starts Saturday's capped game against the Barbarians in Cardiff.

Either way, the 29-year-old is set to win his 32nd cap more than two years after he last played for Wales.

Henson, who returned from a long self-imposed rugby exile earlier this year through brief stints with Saracens and then Toulon, is back on Wales squad duty, albeit without a club after he was recently released by the wealthy French outfit.

"He has been a player who has been highly influential in the game when he has played," said Wales assistant coach, Rob Howley. "I think Gavin deserves a chance."

CONOR NILAND followed up his two wins on Monday with a 6-2 6-1 demolition of Italy's Riccardo Ghedin in the final qualifying round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Nottingham yesterday, writes Paddy Hickey.

The second-seeded Irish No 1 asserted his dominance from an early stage and an early break provided him with the confidence and momentum to comfortably take the opening set against his No 8 seeded opponent.

It was a similar one-sided story in the second set with 296-ranked Ghedin consistently on the back foot and unable to make any real impression on the 187-ranked Limerick native, whose serving and returning game was in top order.

Niland's victory marked his first hat-trick of successes in a tournament since last November.

The Munster man next takes on American left-hander Donald Young in the first round of the main draw of the grass court event.

TODAY marks the golden jubilee of the first UCD versus Trinity 'colours' athletics match, which took place in College Park 50 years ago.

A reunion of many of the competitors is taking place in Dublin tonight and among those attending will be Monika Maniak, daughter of Victor (Wieslaw) Maniak, a then UCD commerce student, who was fourth in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, when he also took a silver medal in the 4x100m relay for Poland.

Also on the UCD team was Michael Hoey (Clonliffe), who had represented Ireland in the 5,000m at the Rome Olympics a year earlier.

Irish Independent