GAVIN Henson insists the fire is still burning bright ahead as he starts life with the Dragons – and the double Grand Slam winner won't give up his dream of a return with Wales.

The 35-year-old former Ospreys and Cardiff Blues fly-half/centre has return home after signing a two-year deal at Rodney Parade from Bristol.

Henson heads to Newport after an injury-plagued season that ended with the West Country side suffering relegation from the Aviva Premiership but the playmaker insists he has plenty left in the tank.

“If I didn’t have the hunger I’d have finished the game, simple as that. I do and I want to improve every day when I go out on the training ground,” said Henson.

“That’s never changed and the moment it does it the time to walk away. I feel I can offer so much to the game and the players around me on a daily basis.

“I am ready for the games now and it’s not too long until Montpellier [in the first pre-season game]. I am looking to finish strongly and we’ll see how long I can keep on playing.

“I was so glad to get the chance to come back to Wales and I just want to repay the faith the Dragons have shown in me to have a good season. I still have things to prove and want to finish off on a high.”

Henson, who played for the Lions against New Zealand 12 years ago, last played on the Test stage against England in a warm-up game for the 2011 World Cup.

While a return to Warren Gatland’s squad ahead of Japan 2019 is a long shot, the 33-times capped back will not give up hope of a last hurrah and is determined to catch the eye at Rodney Parade.

Asked if the ship had sailed with Wales, Henson said: “Far from it. I’ve come back to Wales and I still have that in my mind.

“Obviously there is a lot of hard work to do and a lot of special performances that I’ve got to put in to be considered for that.”

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Henson is fully fit after enduring injury misfortune with Bristol in the Aviva Premiership last season and is desperate to show his class out in the middle for Bernard Jackman’s side.

However, he has also be signed with a view to helping the next generation, the likes of Hallam Amos, Ashton Hewitt, Tyler Morgan and Angus O’Brien, flourish at Rodney Parade.

“I just feel that I can help here,” said Henson. “With the youngsters coming through I can see things that they are not quite doing and they probably just need that voice on the field to help them.

“I love that part of the game, passing on knowledge, seeing what the youngsters are not quite doing right and giving some pointers.

“But I am learning a lot myself through Bernard, it’s been all change and he has his own ideas. It’s been a breath of fresh air for me.

“It’s great to work under Bernard, he seems a class act and we are all enjoying his training regime and how he wants to play the game.

“All the boys have found that refreshing, high tempo with everyone making decisions out there. We can’t wait for the season to start.”

The Dragons finished 11th in the Guinness PRO12 last season and failed to win a game away from Rodney Parade in any competition.

Bernard Jackman has replaced Kingsley Jones, the man who signed Henson, at the helm and the fly-half/centre is aiming high.

“We want to try and be the best region. Why not? We have got the quality of players from what I have seen and the fitness levels are great,” said Henson.

“That will be one of our goals but we haven’t sat down and discussed any of that yet. We will just take it one game at a time.

“With Bernard at the top and the way that he wants to play the game, hopefully we will shock a few teams and get the fans right behind us from the off.”