Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones says he is prepared to offer disgraced Western Force scrumhalf Matt Henjak a chance to resurrect his career in England, reports said Thursday.
ones, soon to become director of rugby at English club Saracens, said he supported the ruling of the Rugby WA’s conduct committee that Henjak should be sacked for attacking teammate Haig Sare at a Perth bar earlier this month.But Jones said he would be willing to take Henjak, who earned four national caps during his time as Wallabies’ coach, should the 26-year-old scrumhalf be eligible to play in Europe.
Jones, who sent Henjak home from the Wallabies’ 2005 tour of South Africa after an off-field disciplinary issue, said he was ready to give the troubled player another chance.
“I would give him another chance if the circumstances were right, no hesitation,” Jones told Thursday’s <I>Sydney Morning Herald</I>.
“He deserves the punishment but still deserves to have a future as a footballer.”
Jones said he knew Henjak had a problem with alcohol, which led to his becoming the first Wallaby in 40 years to be sent home from a tour after a nightclub incident in Cape Town three years ago.
But he said he felt Henjak had then “turned the corner” and so selected him for the end-of-season Wallabies tour the same year.
“Matt is essentially a good kid. But it is true, there have been a number of alcohol-related incidents,” Jones said.
“And I did sense that he had an issue then [in 2005]. We sought to address the problem. He came on the Wallabies tour later that year and played well, especially against Ireland.
“We thought he had turned the corner. But it seems now that the corner was just too far away.”
Jones has urged the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) not to abandon Henjak.
Henjak may know this week whether his time in Australian rugby is officially up with the ARU to decide his fate.
The ARU said it is going through the transcript from the conduct committee’s hearing, which recommended that the Western Force scrumhalf be sacked because of his attack on Sare, which left the utility back with a broken jaw.