Tuesday 12 December 2017

Australian rugby star reprimanded for 'urinating in a public place'

Nick Purewal

Australia wing Dane Haylett-Petty has been reprimanded for "urinating in a public place", while team-mate Pek Cowan has lost the Western Force captaincy.

The Western Force pair have both been fined $5,000 AUS for "breaching team leadership standards" during last weekend's Super Rugby trip to South Africa to take on the Cheetahs.

Wallabies wing Haylett-Petty has been stripped of the Force's vice captaincy, while Cowan was punished for "gaining unauthorised access to a team vehicle after the team-agreed curfew of 1.00am".

The Force slipped to a 30-29 defeat in Bloemfontein last weekend, and compounded that with a 22-3 loss at home to the Stormers on Saturday.

"The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has today determined sanctions against Western Force players Pek Cowan and Dane Haylett-Petty after the pair were relieved of their leadership roles by the club for the remainder of the 2016 Super Rugby season for breaching team leadership standards while on tour in South Africa last weekend," read an ARU statement.

"Cowan, the Western Force captain, and team vice-captain Haylett-Petty were deemed to have breached the Australian Rugby player code of conduct in separate and unrelated incidents at the team hotel in Bloemfontein early on Sunday morning (local time).

"Both players will be served breach notices containing a $5000 fine.

"Haylett-Petty will be served a breach notice for urinating in a public place while Cowan will be served a breach notice for gaining unauthorised access to a team vehicle after the team-agreed curfew of 1.00am."

Haylett-Petty made his Australia debut in the first of the Wallabies' three Test defeats to England in the series whitewash last month.

The 27-year-old impressed with his strong running, ending the series with one try, despite the hosts' three straight losses.

Front-rower Cowan has won 10 Test caps for Australia since making his debut against Italy in 2009.

Wallabies bosses have moved swiftly to follow up internal Western Force punishments by confirming the fines, with ARU chief operating officer Rob Clarke taking a dim view of the duo's actions.

"The ARU Integrity Unit has reviewed the report provided by the Western Force on the events in South Africa last weekend and has determined that both Pek Cowan and Dane Haylett-Petty breached the code of conduct for separate and unrelated incidents at the team hotel in Bloemfontein," said Clarke.

"On Thursday, the club took action against both players for breaching its leadership standards and we support this decision.

"Given there were breaches of the code of conduct by both players as detailed in the report from the Western Force, the ARU Integrity Unit will accordingly issue breach notices to the players in the coming days.

"Both players assisted the club and the ARU Integrity Unit in this investigation."

Press Association

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