McKenzie bans midweek alcohol and imposes curfew
November 19, 2013
ARU Chief Executive Bill Pulver is backing McKenzie's decision
Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson and Liam Gill will be unavailable to play against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. Paddy Ryan will be included before serving his ban the following week, when Australia are due to face Wales, only because the Wallabies are required to have a minimum number of props in the squad for the game.
And McKenzie has cracked down on his team's excesses by banning midweek drinking and imposing a midnight curfew on his players. The six suspended players will also have to undergo extra training sessions.
Players will be allowed to toast a victory or drown their sorrows in defeat on the night of a match but McKenzie has warned his players that if they do not agree with his new measures, then they can "go and do something else".
"I am not running social tours of Europe," McKenzie said. "We're here in a high-performance environment, we're trying to win Test matches. I'm not going to treat them like kids, they get paid enough money, they're employed to do a job.
"And that's demeaning to say they're employed, they're actually given the privilege of being a Wallaby. With that comes responsibility. This business is about making sacrifices, it's not about going on a Contiki tour of countries. It's about making sacrifices, it's actually a profession for them but they're passionate about it in the end, as I am.
"This is not a club trip. Sure, alcohol has to exist in society, so we're saying 'After the game, enjoy a win'. I'm not draconian and saying you can't drink forever. It's never been any different, you play Saturday night, you can have a beer after the game, then you move on and get on with the job."
The incident happened after the Wallabies met for dinner on Tuesday evening in Dublin. According to the Herald Sun, some players had arrived back just a couple of hours before McKenzie woke up on Wednesday morning and following an investigation, he cracked down on their behaviour.
McKenzie added: "I've been quite clear, when you say you go to dinner, dinner is dinner. I don't know of any dinners, unless you're in Spain, that goes past midnight.
"Sometimes you don't have to define the time, you just have to be responsible. Then you've got the responsibility as a Wallaby, there are performance aspects in play."
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