|Strictly professional: Henson with his new Saracens team-mates|
Gavin Henson revealed this week he hopes to play rugby for
again after signing a deal with Saracens until the end of the season. Wales
The exiled Henson raised a few eyebrows when he was chosen to launch the new
kit last month, but this move is the first step towards international redemption. Wales
And after signing for the Sarries, Henson hopes to grace the Millennium Stadium sooner, rather than later.
“I know I still have so much to give to rugby, and I can’t wait to get back on the field, playing for Saracens and hopefully for
,” he said. Wales
“Now it’s time to start working hard, getting back to match fitness as soon as possible and then to let my rugby do all the talking.”
Henson has been in self-imposed exile from rugby for 19 months, and after suffering a turbulent year off the field, the rugby world was beginning to wonder whether he had fallen out of love with the game.
But Henson dispelled any such fears, adding: “I am genuinely delighted to get this opportunity to play for Saracens.
“They have created a special vibe at the club and just being around them has rekindled my enthusiasm for the sport.”
Time will tell whether Henson has rekindled his love-affair with rugby, as to date he has seemingly courted more publicity off the field than on it.
He is not alone, however, as a number of sports stars have looked to make a name for themselves away from the day job.
Not dissimilar to Henson, Cipriani has made more headlines off the field than on it in his short career. Set to make his
England debut against on 8 March 2008, Kelly Brook’s former hubby was removed from the starting fifteen after been snapped leaving a nightclub a few days before. Currently waiting for his visa to join the Melbourne Rebels, Cipriani allegedly spent the summer ‘maintaining his fitness levels’ at Tottenham, QPR and at Lindsay Lohan’s. Scotland
Probably the biggest pin-up of a generation, Kournikova broke onto the scene as an innocent 15-year old at the 1996 U.S. Open. Her singles career never took off, however, with a semi-final appearance at
Wimbledon a year later the furthest she progressed in a major. The Russian has earned millions off the court, appearing in numerous FHM and Maxim shoots, and was the face of the highly successful ‘only the ball should bounce’ billboard campaign for Berlei's shock-absorber sports bras. She has dated pop star Enrique Iglesias since 2001 and appeared in his music video ‘Escape’.
Like Kournikova, Ivanovic is fast becoming more of a pin-up than a tennis sensation, also appearing in FHM. Despite winning the 2008 French Open, she has disappointed in all majors since and after defeat in the first round of
Wimbledon this year, fell to 64th in the world rankings.
Jenson Button pre-2009
The current Formula One World Drivers’ Champion did not always have it his own way on the track. After a staggering 113 races, Button won his first Grand Prix in
in 2006. In this period, Button did have the consolation of having a series of stunning spouses. During a five-year romance, Button was engaged to actress and singer Louise Griffiths. He has also dated Rose McGowan and model Florence Brudenell-Bruce. It has taken nine years, but Button has finally managed to successfully juggle life in the fast lane with his love-life, currently back with the dazzling Jessica Michibata after a short break. Hungary
Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr
Mayweather is an undoubted force in the ring, but labelling him a ‘great’ will have to wait until his protracted fight with Manny Pacquiao is sorted out. The five-division world champion has courted publicity elsewhere, and his self-proclaimed money tag has seen him dabble in wrestling, appearing in WWE's No Way Out in February, 2008. Like Henson, he has also appeared in a reality-series dance show, lasting four rounds in
’s Dancing with the Stars in 2007. America
Where do you start? Since becoming the youngest boxer to win the WBC title at the age of 20 and the first to simultaneously hold all WBA, WBC and IBF titles, Tyson’s private life could be held accountable for regularly stalling one of the greatest heavy-weight boxers of all time. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of sexually assaulting Desiree Washington, and served three years in prison. He re-gained a portion of the heavyweight title in 1996, but lost it to Evander Holyfield later that year by an 11th round TKO. In their 1997 rematch, Tyson’s troubled past reared its ugly head once more when he was disqualified for biting off part of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite receiving around $300 million during his career. In May 2009, Tyson's 4-year-old daughter tragically died after becoming tangled in an exercise treadmill’s cord.