Gavin Henson: Dragons back hopes this season will not be his last
Gavin Henson hopes this season will not be his last as a professional rugby player.
The double Grand Slam winner and British and Irish Lion says he hopes to impress enough to earn another contract after his current Dragons deal finishes at the end of the 2018/19 season.
The Wales back is 37 next February but wants to carry on playing.
“For the last however many years I have always treated it as my last but hope that is not the case,” said Henson.
Henson is in his second season with Dragons having joined from Bristol but missed the second half of the last campaign through a hamstring injury.
“I would love to go one more year professionally,” said Henson.
“I’m hoping to get another contract but there’s a lot to do yet. That’s a big drive for me to get that next year.
“I’m always looking for perfection, even at my age. I’m still dreaming of that perfect game, that’s what keeps my drive in training. As soon as I lose that I will finish.”
Henson lost his place in the Dragons side over the Christmas period and accepts he might not be first choice with the region’s head coach Bernard Jackman.
“It’s a little bit different now because I’m getting older and they have recruited well,” added Henson.
“I have got to take a little bit of a back-seat to start, to see if those boys take their chance.
“I’m covering 10, 12 and 15, wherever they need me, but hopefully I can force my way in the team. When I get my chance I have got to take it and put pressure on the other boys.
“The management is under pressure because of how we finished last year so we need wins. This year is going to be more serious.
“There’s going to be no messing around. Bernard is probably going to pick his strongest team every week, hopefully I will get in that.”
The Dragons only won two out of 21 Pro14 games last season under Jackman and Henson hopes the arrival of the likes of Wales forwards Ross Moriarty and Richard Hibbard will result in an improvement.
“Last season wasn’t great, personally and on the whole, but we learnt a lot and Bernard was trying to find out about a few boys, and he’s done that,” said Henson.
“The management held their hands up, they probably over-trained us a little bit, but that was down to trying to find out who he wanted here.
“We had to pay the price for that a little bit, especially performance-wise individually on game days.
“Now he’s brought in the players he wants. They’re all super talented and have been around a bit
“Hopefully they can make a home here, make an impact straight off and get us up that league.”
Henson says when he does finally finishing playing he is considering coaching.
“It is something I want to go into,” said Henson.
“I have been under a lot of coaches so kind of feel I know what the best way is.
“I have got to do my coaching levels first and maybe I’ll learn a bit through that.”