GAVIN Henson is in line to make his Dragons debut in the Guinness PRO14 opener against Leinster at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

The 35-year-old made his first outing for the region in the pre-season friendly defeat to Montpellier in France but missed the tune-ups against Exeter and Glasgow with a dead leg from a training session against Bath.

But the former Wales and Lions playmaker has taken a full part in training this week and is set to be handed the 10 jersey against the Irish province in Newport on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3.15pm).

Henson signed from Bristol on a two-year deal this summer and is being backed to get the Dragons firing against the PRO14 title favourites.

“Gav will be fresh and raring to go,” said backs coach Shaun Connor.

“His quality is undoubted, he has an unbelievable kicking game, the ability to take the ball to the line and pick a pass and more experience than a lot of 10s in the league so knows how to control a game as well.

“There is a different feel in the camp this week and you can see a difference in Gavin, he’s really up for the game and if he is selected I am sure we will get a performance out of him as well.”

Connor played alongside Henson at the Ospreys, winning the Celtic League title in 2005 and 2007, and has declared that his former teammate has lost none of his spark.

“I know it’s only training and pre-season games but some of the skills he shows are unbelievable,” said the former fly-half.

“He was out there in training spiralling the ball 70 metres – I don’t think there is anybody else in Welsh rugby who can do that.

“Gavin is 35 but took a little bit of time out of rugby and I think that he’s still fresh. He has always kept himself immaculately fit and is probably in the best shape of his life – judging by pre-season he has got at least two years of high-quality rugby left in him.

“Another of Gav’s strengths is his ability to go to the line and be able to pick a pass. That’s such a hard skill to do but he seems to have the knack of being able to execute it.”

The Dragons have also been boosted by the return of captain Cory Hill, who missed the Warriors game with a pectoral muscle injury, while flanker Ollie Griffiths is also available after being forced off with a blow to the hip last Friday.

Scrum-half Sarel Pretorius is set to be in the mix after being withdrawn from the Glasgow game after suffering a tight calf in the warm-up while lock Rynard Landman looks likely to pass his return to play protocols after a concussion.

Back row forward Lewis Evans, who did not play in pre-season because of a calf problem and missed the Glasgow game because of his sister’s wedding, is not in contention for round one