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Brian O’Driscoll recalls Gavin Henson’s lengthy beauty sessions on Lions tour


Gavin Henson could take up to three hours in the bathroom to ensure that he was looking at his best before matches, according to Brian O’Driscoll.

The Welshman was a supremely talented player in his day, earning a place in the British and Irish Lions squad in 2005, but Henson was also known for being a little bit vain.

O’Driscoll, who was Henson’s roommate during the 2005 tour to New Zealand, was speaking at an Off The Ball show about Henson’s lengthy bathroom sessions before he played a match.

“I roomed with Gavin Henson on a Lions tour and the morning of a midweek game I remember going ‘Will I go for a piss or not? I think I need to go,'” O’Driscoll explained.

“I decided not to and said ‘ I’ll hang on another while and try and snooze here’. Gav goes into the bathroom and a solid three hours later came out the most pristine you have ever seen in your life.

“The full St Tropez, legs shaved, immaculate hair and he said ‘If you look good, you play good’. I think he played alright that night.”


‘He’s buying bottled water and bathing in that’

Former Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel was also at the Off The Ball show and had his own story about the lengths Henson would go to in order to look at his best.

“Literally, yesterday we were in training in Bristol and he’s the same: fully tanned up and this is the God’s honest truth now … one of the boys goes ‘Your skin’s looking good, Gav’.

“He says ‘Yeah, I started washing and showering with Evian’. So he’s buying bottled water and bathing in that. That’s how crazy he is,” Peel said.

Despite his obvious talent, Henson never realised his full potential and amassed just 33 caps for Wales across a 10-year spell for his country.

Henson retired from rugby union in 2019 after two seasons with the Dragons but joined third-tier rugby league club the West Wales Raiders this year at the age of 39.

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