Saracens have confirmed the signing of Wales star Gavin Henson.
Henson will link up with the Aviva Premiership club after the Ospreys last night “reluctantly agreed” to release him from the remaining seven months of his contract at the Swansea-based region.
The 28-year-old has not played rugby since going on unpaid leave from the Ospreys 18 months ago following the latest in a series of injury setbacks.
Saracens have not yet revealed the length of Henson’s contract with them, or when he might make his debut.
He trained with his new club for the first time earlier this week.
Henson is currently appearing on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing series, a commitment that could last until Christmas.
Saracens say they recognise Henson’s ongoing commitment to the programme, adding: “The player’s path back to full match fitness will dovetail with his participation in the show.”
Henson, who won the last of his 31 Wales caps during the 2009 Six Nations Championship, said he was “genuinely delighted” to be joining Saracens.
“They have created a special vibe at the club, and to be honest, just being around them has rekindled my enthusiasm for the sport.” he said.
“They are bold and innovative, and they’re positive and ambitious.
“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 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 could find himself primarily being used as a fly-half at Vicarage Road.
Saracens have moved quickly to recruit him after their South African number 10 Derick Hougaard suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during the Heineken Cup defeat against Leinster at Wembley earlier this month.
Saracens rugby director Brendan Venter added: “Gavin is a special talent.
“We are delighted he has chosen to launch the next phase of his career with us.
“We believe he will enjoy our environment, on and off the field, and that will be great news for our supporters and for Welsh rugby.”
In an official statement, Saracens thanked the Ospreys and the Welsh region’s managing director Mike Cuddy “for the constructive approach in agreeing to release Henson from his contract in the wider interests of the player and of the game”.