NRL: Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson wants to celebrate milestone for controversial centre Michael Jennings

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Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson says Michael Jennings has a “clear and pure” purpose in his final stint in the NRL and the club will “definitely” celebrate his 300 game milestone despite the league choosing not to.

Jennings won’t be presented with a commemorative football due to past indiscretions that include a three-year drugs ban and a civil judgment against the 35-year-old that he had sexually abused his ex-wife during their relationship and would heavily drink and gamble and use cocaine regularly.

But Robinson said while people could “have their opinion”, Jennings, who made his playing return last weekend, had “come a long way” and the Roosters were comfortable supporting someone looking to turn their life around.

“We should (celebrate). It’s 300 games but also the celebrations are a little bit different,” he said on Wednesday morning.

“He’s come a long way, Jenko. The questioning of it (the celebration), people can have their opinion, but I feel really proud about what we are doing as a club to get a player that’s bled in our jersey to get back on his feet.”

Robinson was adamant that celebrating the milestone was “not disrespectful” given there had been no criminal conviction made against Jennings.

“It’s not disrespectful to women because there has been no judgment when it comes to criminal case in that way,” he said.

“At which point does he get allowed to continue with his life and continue working?”

Robinson said returning to the NRL wasn’t a guarantee for Jennings when the Roosters re-signed him and believed the club could serve a bigger purpose with the veteran looking to reshape his life.

“We had to be very clear on what were the circumstances and (we) were happy with that and so was the NRL and we thought we could improve someone’s life,” he said.

“We didn’t know if he was going to play NRL again. If you’re going to do this, let’s see what your purpose is. His purpose is really clear to rewrite his name as a rugby league player and as a father for his kids. It’s so clear and pure.

“And so it’s really simple. We’re going to celebrate where he’s at right now and him getting back to where he is and obviously playing 300 games.

“It’s been wonderful to see him from October through until now and where he’s at and where his life is at. He’s in such a good spot.

“He’s done his time and we feel the responsibility to allow him to earn in the way he wants to earn.”

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