Gavin Henson in Welsh World Cup squad despite 'rusty' performance

Gavin Henson took a step closer to fulfilling his dream of playing in the World Cup after being named in Wales' preliminary 45-man party for the global showpiece in New Zealand on the same day he returned to Test rugby after a two-year absence for Wales against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium.

The 29-year-old, who had started just three games this season and has been released by Toulon, put in a steady but not spectacular performance, although he did set up Wales' opening try for George North.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said: "He looked a bit rusty at times but I thought there were some really nice touches. He held his depth well and there was a lovely pass to put George North away for a try and that's the quality he has got.

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"There were a couple of (poor] kicks, but he knows he is a bit off at the moment - but he showed some nice touches.

"We want to work with him the next few months. He has been good the last few weeks and it's frustrating that every press conference the story is about Gavin.

"Let him play some rugby and work hard and see what shape we can get him in."

Henson had admitted himself that he had not been at his best, saying he was "bitterly disappointed" with his performance.

He said: "I am very proud today, getting back into that Welsh jersey. I have really enjoyed the week, getting back in and playing.

"But I am bitterly disappointed with my performance, there were some bad decisions I made. It was a good game to be involved in and it was a pity we lost in the end.''

Forwards: H Bennett (Ospreys), L Burns (Dragons), R Hibbard (Ospreys), M Rees (Scarlets), S Andrews (Cardiff), R Bevington (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), G Jenkins (Cardiff), A Jones (Ospreys), C Mitchell (Exeter), J Yapp (Cardiff), L Charteris (Dragons), B Davies (Blues), AW Jones (Ospreys), L Reed (Scarlets), G Delve (Melbourne Rebels), T Faletau (Dragons), R Jones (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Dragons), R McCusker (Scarlets), A Powell (Sale Sharks), J Thomas (Ospreys), J Tipuric (Ospreys), J Turnbull (Scarlets), S Warburton (Blues), M Williams (Blues).

Backs: T Knoyle (Scarlets), D Peel (Sale), M Phillips (Ospreys), R Rees (Blues), S Jones (Scarlets), R Priestland (Scarlets), J Tovey (Dragons), J Hook (Perpigan), A Bishop (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), G Henson (unattached), J Roberts (Cardiff), G North (Scarlets), A Brew (Dragons), M Stoddart (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Shane Williams (Ospreys), L Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), L Halfpenny (Cardiff).