Australia’s troubled season hit a new low today as it emerged that key players Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper were axed for the clash with England for inviting women back to their hotel after the 9-6 loss to Wales.
Both were expected to feature in the final match of a season that has seen head coach Michael Cheika under severe pressure but they were not included in the match squad to face England.
It has now been confirmed the pair were sanctioned after the breach of team protocol was raised by captain Michael Hooper and the leadership group including David Pocock, Allan Alaalatoa, Samu Kerevi and Nick Phipps. Wallabies coach Michael Cheika had made no mention of the breach when he named his side on Thursday.
Cheika said Beale’s absence was due to form, however, the Australian Daily Telegraph reported that Beale and Ashley-Cooper had invited three women back to their Cardiff hotel room a fortnight ago after Australia lost 9-6 to Wales.
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Ashley-Cooper made his first start for Australia in more than two years against Italy last weekend and was expected to feature, along with Beale against England but neither player was named in the squad for the Twickenham match. Ashley-Cooper left the Waratahs in 2015 to join Bordeaux-Begles in the Top 14, before joining Japanese side Kobe Steelers in 2017.
Before Beale headed to England to join Wasps n 2016, he had a long list of off-the-field problems which came to head in March 2013 when Beale was fined AUS$40,000 and suspended following a punch up with Melbourne Rebels team mates Cooper Vuna and Gareth Delve.
He was suspended for a second time in seven weeks by the Rebels for breaking an alcohol ban, however, Beale was selected to play for Australia against the British and Irish Lions. A year later an ARU code of conduct inquiry found him guilty of a serious violation over an image and text he sent and was fined AUS$45,000. The charge followed a complaint from former Wallabies business manager Di Patston against Beale.
At the end of last season in England, Beale headed back to Australia to bid for a place in the Wallabies squad for next year’s World Cup in Japan.
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