Henjak happy with move to Toulon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak happy with move to Toulon

By Belinda Tasker 01/08/2008 01:59:37 PM Comments (0)

Sonny Bill Williams is yet to make a splash on the French Riviera, but his Toulonnais teammate-in-waiting Matt Henjak has dived straight into his new life there.

Henjak has been soaking up the summer sunshine on the Cote d'Azur and working hard at pre-season training sessions with the renowned Top 14 rugby club after leaving Australia last month following his sacking from Super 14 franchise Western Force.

The disgraced former Wallaby scrum-half is trying to make a fresh start and leave behind the controversy over breaking former team-mate Haig Sare's jaw during a brawl in February.

Looking fit, tanned and relaxed, the 26-year-old appears to have slipped into the French lifestyle quite easily since leaving a chilly Canberra three weeks ago.

"I haven't got a bad word to say about the place," he said shortly before taking part in an afternoon training session in 30-plus degree heat.

"We've got our first trial game in a couple of weeks and then four weeks after that our first home game.

"Everyone has talked up the Toulon crowd and I can't wait to run out there and be a part of it."

To help him settle in, Henjak has been given an apartment close to the beach and silver convertible Volkswagen sedan to cruise around in.

While Toulon lacks the glitz and glamour of nearby Cannes, Nice and St Tropez, it has a quaint "old town" complete with cobblestone streets dotted with market stalls, cafes, bars and plenty of shops.

Further afield, there's casinos, glamorous hotels and nightspots, plenty of sandy beaches and vineyards to explore.

"The club's been really great," Henjak said.

"They find you a place to live and give you a car straight away when you get here. When the season starts they will put me into French school as well.

"I think if I could have picked one dream club to come to when I obviously parted way with the Force, it would have been Toulon."

Henjak has signed a one-year contract with Toulonnais, with an option to extend by another 12 months.

While he remains tight-lipped about whether former Bulldogs star Williams will join him and a host of other New Zealand and Samoan players in Toulon, Henjak says France is a tempting place for many Australian players.

"I think it's an attractive option for the top Australian players that are earning big money in Australia but they could earn a lot more over here without the salary cap put on them," he said.

"And it's an attractive place I suppose for fringe Australian players.

"There's 14 teams in France and only four in Australia so there's a lot more opportunity over here to get a start and play in a premier competition whereas the opportunities in Australia may be a little more limited."

But Henjak refuses to ruled out a return to Australian rugby one day and playing for his country again.

"Every player that is Australian always has a dream of playing for the Wallabies and I have not closed that door and hopefully the ARU hasn't closed that door on me either," he said.

"But I am just concentrating on these two years over here and seeing what that presents first."

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