Gavin is a Welsh rugby union player who has attracted much media attention as part of a Wales national team which achieved Grand Slams in the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008. He has also played for the British and Irish Lions, touring in 2005 to New Zealand but has never appeared at a World Cup.
A versatile player, Henson has played in a variety of positions including fly-half, fullback and inside centre. After an extended spell out of the national side, including missing the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he was recalled by caretaker coach Nigel Davies, being included in the squad to play against South Africa.
Henson played rugby for his school, Brynteg Comprehensive, in Bridgend, Wales. Despite his Bridgend origins, he joined Swansea RFC at the age of 18. He was presented with the International Rugby Board’s Young Player of the Year award in 2001.
He made his international debut for Wales during June 2001 in a Test against Japan, coming off the bench. He then started his next match, at fly-half in a game against Romania on 19 September 2001. In November of that year he played for Wales A against Uruguay, scoring his first try in an international.
He came to wider notice in 2004 with a series of excellent performances in Wales’ autumn internationals against New Zealand and South Africa. Henson became a firm part of the Welsh starting lineup, and after playing at fullback in the second Test against Argentina and the first against South Africa, he played in the centres for the remainder of the season.
He remained on the team for the 2005 Six Nations Championship. In Wales’ opening fixture in February, at home to England, Henson gave an effective performance; making two tackles on Matthew Tait (earning Tait the nickname ‘Henson’s Handbag’) and landing the match-winning points with a 48 m penalty kick and being named man of the match.
In October 2005 Henson’s My Grand Slam Year, was published.
Henson has appeared in advertisements for several companies, including Brits Bingo, Nike pro, Matalan, Nestle and for one of the Wales national team sponsors, Brains.
Since September 2010, Henson has boosted his media profile by participating in three reality television series, 71 Degrees North, Strictly Come Dancing and The Bachelor.
In September 2010 he featured in the ITV1 outdoor series 71 Degrees North, a challenge show set in Norway in which he finished in 2nd place, losing out to Marcus Patric. He then featured as a contestant on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing ‘s eighth series, partnered by Katya Virshilas. In August 2011 a series, The Bachelor, in which 25 young women battle it out on the French Riviera to win the heart of Henson “the Bachelor”, began on Channel 5.