ARU: New Beale issue "deeply offensive"

ARU: New "offensive" disciplinary matter involving Kurtley Beale sent to conduct tribunal

ARU: New Beale issue "deeply offensive"

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Australian Rugby Union says a "deeply offensive" new disciplinary allegation involving utility back Kurtley Beale will be referred to a code-of-conduct tribunal.

Beale was dropped for the last Rugby Championship test against Argentina last Saturday after he argued with ARU officials during the Wallabies' flight to South America.

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said Thursday that while investigating the flight incident, officials were made aware of another matter involving Beale and text messages he sent in June.

The ARU said Beale, who plays for the Super Rugby-champion New South Wales Waratahs, will not be considered for Australian selection until the tribunal concludes. The Wallabies will name a team on Friday for next Saturday's test against New Zealand in Brisbane.

Pulver said the independent tribunal will allow Beale to plead his case in a matter which had now superseded the allegations about behavior on the flight.

"This matter relates to Kurtley Beale allegedly distributing what we consider highly inappropriate and deeply offensive text messages and images to a number of people in June, referencing an ARU staff member," Pulver said.

"The investigation into the argument on the plane has become a secondary matter in recent days, with our focus diverted to these new allegations."

The ARU said the date of the tribunal, which will include representatives nominated by the ARU and the Rugby Union Players' Association, was expected to begin early next week.

In February 2013, a scuffle with his then Melbourne Rebels teammates Gareth Delve and Cooper Vuna in South Africa revealed his issues with alcohol. He was suspended for a month over the altercation, then stumbled at his first attempts at rehabilitation after being seen drinking with teammates.

Updated : 2021-03-08 08:20 GMT+08:00