Toby Booth, the London Irish manager, claims there is "less than a one per cent chance" of the Aviva Premiership club signing Gavin Henson, the unsettled Wales centre. Henson, who regularly makes the gossip pages of the British press, remains on unpaid leave from Ospreys, his Welsh club and has not played for 18 months after a self-imposed rugby exile following his latest injury setback.
His Ospreys contract expires at the end of this season and he has been linked with a switch to London, although Wasps have denied making any moves for him and there appears little prospect of Henson ending up at Irish either, whether on-loan or permanently. "I've had no contact on that front - the situation is pretty clear from our point of view," Booth said after yesterday's 23-16 victory over Gloucester.
"It is not us doing Gavin Henson a favour, if he feels he wants to contribute [to the club] we will have a conversation. But we haven't spoken to him, and I don't expect to speak to him. We haven't considered it. "It would be my decision, but we haven't held a conversation about it. There is less than a one per cent chance." On the field, Ryan Lamb punished his former club with an immaculate goal kicking display as Irish climbed to second place in the table. The Exiles fly-half booted 13 points through a five from five return, condemning Gloucester to their second defeat in three starts this term.
In the day's other Premiership game, David Strettle marked his first start for Saracens with a try as Brendan Venter's side condemned bottom side Leeds Carnegie to a third-successive Premiership defeat. Strettle, 27, touched down in the 26th minute with a clinical effort to register his second try for the club following his summer move from rivals Harlequins. Schalk Brits, the replacement hooker, added a late second and Derick Hougaard, the fly-half, weighed in with 16 points with the boot in the 26-14 win.
* Press Association