x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Unfulfilled destinies for Gavin Henson and Danny Cipriani

Toulon has a pair of shooting stars who look to be in a falling trajectory in Gavin Henson and Danny Cipirani.

Toulon, the big-spending French club, are becoming rugby's equivalent of Bull's Eye, the UK darts-based television programme from the 1980s.

The show typically concluded with the presenter compounding the woes of defeated contestants by revealing what they had lost by missing Bully's special prize.

But instead of "have a look at what you could have won", Toulon's tagline seems to have become: "Have a look at what you could have been."

First, the troublesome Gavin Henson was given the chance to glimpse his life through a lens as the club lifted him off the scrap heap to play alongside Jonny Wilkinson.

Perhaps he saw what might have been, had he ever harnessed his fine natural gifts with a little bit of Wilkinson's focus, as the green-eyed monster called envy overcame him, leading to a brawl with teammates. Henson kept his job this week, but has been warned there will not be a next time.

Next up looks to be Danny Cipriani, another Boy Wonder turned lost soul.

Toulon are apparently keen to recruit the Melbourne Rebel as fly-half cover during the World Cup.

So he will get the chance to see how he measures up against the Golden Boy. In the past, both he and Henson were supposed to assume Wilkinson's mantle as European rugby's biggest superstar.

Each have the celebrity, but both are running out of time to earn the same respect on the other side of the white line.