Western Force mull stricter booze rules - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Western Force mull stricter booze rules

By Tim Clarke 18/02/2008 07:10:23 PM Comments (0)

As Matt Henjak and Haig Sare prepare to plead for their Western Force careers, club bosses are considering stricter in-house alcohol rules after a string of embarrassing booze-fuelled incidents.

Henjak and Sare will front a RugbyWA disciplinary tribunal with their lawyers on Tuesday to explain the brawl which left Sare with a broken jaw, Henjak bloodied and scarred and both in dire jeopardy of the sack.

And while former Wallaby scrumhalf Henjak's reputation appears the most damaged following a string of other incidents, it is understood the Western Force's patience with Sare is also wafer thin.

Rugby WA chairman Geoff Stooke said coach John Mitchell and skipper Nathan Sharpe had both been angered by players out drinking days before a major tour.

And following two players being fined in November, after drunkenly mishandling quokkas, and other alcohol-related incidents involving Henjak, a review of the players' self-policed drinking policy was being reviewed.

"One of the concerns the coach has is that the players, prior to a very arduous three week tour of SA, to be out the Sunday before was seen to be most inappropriate," Stooke said.

"And the captain of the team Nathan Sharpe was very, very upset at the fact the players had been out.

"Some players were not drinking but a number were, and that is unacceptable to the coach and us, and that matter will be addressed. Appropriate action will be taken."

With Henjak - who will not return to South Africa for the Cheetahs game even if cleared - and possible replacement Chris O'Young still in Glasgow, Mitchell could be left with youngster James Stannard as his only halfback.

But skipper Nathan Sharpe denied the Henjak furore had been a distraction, and said that he was confident Stannard could step up.

"We are a little bit sheltered over here being away from Australia and I don't think it was a great distraction," Sharpe said.

"It's important that we get the Matty Henjak thing cleared up and settled and the most important thing for us as a team is that he and Haig Sare get the outcome that suits them.

"Chuckie (Stannard) is a real character and one of those guys, regardless of experience, who is always going to have a dig and that's the sort of guy you want in the team," Sharpe said..

"If we can deliver a good platform for him to service our backs I see no issue why he won't have a fantastic game."

Meanwhile, Sharpe has declared himself a certain starter for the Cheetahs game on Friday, despite having lost 9kg through a bout of food poisoning contracted from eating a dodgy pizza before he left.

"I spent the last five days in bed curled up in the foetal position but the worst of it is well and truly over and I've had a day or so of eating food," Sharpe said.

"I'm probably at the weight now that I was when I was seventeen or eighteen so I've got some work to do to put it back on."

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