Melbourne Rebels suspend Kurtley Beale
May 9, 2013
Kurtley Beale performed superbly against the Chiefs © Getty Images
Melbourne Rebels have suspended Kurtley Beale for the second time in seven weeks, six days after the Wallabies star returned to the team from the replacements bench against the Chiefs.
Beale has been stood down from the Rebels' Super Rugby round 13 match against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday, for breaches of agreed behavioural protocols, and he faces an uncertain future with Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Melbourne officials to investigate further his erratic behaviour.
"Beale has been found in breach of behavioural guidelines as agreed to by the ARU, Melbourne Rebels, RUPA and the player," the Rebels said in a brief statement released on Thursday morning. "The relevant parties will meet further to discuss any future course of action."
Beale has admitted he breached his behavioural conditions by drinking alcohol in Melbourne on Saturday night. Beale also missed an appointment with a psychologist, which was part of his ongoing treatment.
Beale, 24, returned to Super Rugby against the Chiefs after serving a six-week suspension for fighting Rebels team-mates Cooper Vuna and Gareth Delve in Durban in March - and after making an emotional apology to teammates. His return was conditional on adhering to strict behavioural guidelines, some of which are believed to be related to alcohol.
Beale produced a remarkable 33 minutes from the bench against the Chiefs, his form suggesting that he would be a member of the Wallabies squad to face the British & Irish Lions, but his career now appears to be in tatters.
Rebels coach Damien Hill said on Friday it was disappointing for both Beale and the team, who are flying to Auckland to face the Blues on Saturday. "You can't shy away from the fact that he is one of the best footballers in the country," Hill said. "It's just unfortunate that the behavioural side is interfering with that at the moment. "It's really disappointing."
Hill said that Beale was very remorseful and felt he'd let his teammates and himself down. The coach said it was too early to tell if Beale would play for the Rebels again. "It's probably too early to comment on that. "Everybody wants a fit and healthy Kurtley on and off the field so he can perform. It's a work in progress and there's a lot more to be done."
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