Wednesday 21 March 2018

Beale blow for Wallabies ahead of Lions' tour

Mick Cleary

Australia's hopes of beating the Lions this summer have been dealt a blow, with star back Kurtley Beale stood down "indefinitely" following a bust-up with Melbourne Rebels team-mates on Super 15 duty in South Africa.

Beale (pictured right), who has been instructed to seek external counselling, was sent home from South Africa along with Cooper Vuna after a late-night incident on the team bus ended with him punching Vuna and Rebels captain, former Wales No 8 Gareth Delve.

This is not Beale's first drink-related infraction and there is no guarantee that he will be accepted back into the Wallaby fold.

No one can dispute his on-field talent – Beale is adept at full-back and out-half – but there are many who raise questions about his off-field temperament.

Even though he was the victim in the fracas, Delve has stated that he would have no issues lining up alongside Beale in the future.

Delve had reportedly asked Beale to put his shirt back on as the team bus returned to the squad's Durban hotel following a post-match drink in the city. Beale took exception, struck Delve and then Vuna, who tried to intervene.

"I'm a professional rugby player and for the most part my relationship with Kurtley is excellent," Delve said.

"There were factors on the night that aren't going to be an issue for the future. It's not something that I can't get past. I'm more than willing to play alongside Kurtley. I'm sure things will be sorted."

Delve said he took responsibility for the Rebels players going to a bar because he went against the initial advice of coach Damien Hill that they should stay at the hotel following a record 64-7 defeat to the Sharks.

Beale was in trouble last year after he was allegedly involved in an altercation with a security guard after he and Wallabies team-mate Quade Cooper were refused entry to a Brisbane pub. He was granted bail to attend mediation after appearing in court charged with common assault. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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