Gavin Henson will return to Welsh rugby next season after joining Newport Gwent Dragons.

Henson has won 34 caps for Wales and last played for his country in the build-up to the 2011 World Cup.

He will leave English side Bristol at the end of the current campaign and has signed a two-year deal with the Dragons.

Henson said: “I have really enjoyed my time at Bristol, but when the opportunity came along to join the Dragons and return to Wales, I couldn’t say no.

“I still have loads to offer. I’m especially looking forward to pitting myself against the current Welsh players, and hopefully becoming a catalyst and mentor for the tremendous talent that is in the Dragons squad.”

Double Grand-Slam winner Henson produced an impressive performance for Bristol in their recent win over Bath.

At 34, the versatile back follows 30-cap Springbok Zane Kirchner in heading to Rodney Parade.

Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones will be hoping that experience can help improve his underperforming squad.

He said: “This is a hugely important signing and exactly what we need to complement our existing squad.

“I am delighted that Gavin sees the potential within the region and that he is excited about the prospect of assisting this group of backs with their development.

“Having worked with Gavin previously I am fully aware he will bring critical experience on the field and inside the training environment.”

Henson played under Jones at the Ospreys and is now likely to end his playing career in the country of his birth.

Dragons CEO Stuart Davies added: “It’s fantastic news for Dragons supporters and Welsh rugby in general that we are bringing back to Wales one of the finest players of a generation.

“I hope securing the signature of one of the biggest names in the sport will give our supporters a timely lift and renewed hope for what next season might bring when Gavin’s class and experience are added to the potential of our exciting back line.”