Two Wallabies sent home over punch-up after Sharks game

2013-03-25 00:00

THE Melbourne Rebels were dragged through the blackest weekend in their history when two of their Test players, Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna, were sent home to Australia yesterday following an altercation just hours after they had suffered a record 64-7 Super Rugby defeat to the Sharks in Durban.

Beale, who missed the Sharks game because of injury, is alleged to have punched fellow-Wallaby Vuna after the Rebels’ team bus returned to an Umhlanga hotel following a visit to a local nightspot on Saturday night. Vuna played against the Sharks and was penalised for aiming a kick at Springbok wing JP Pietersen.

Coach Damien Hill said yesterday that following an investigation the two would return home (on different flights) for breaking team protocol and miss Saturday’s game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

“The club will no longer tolerate this type of behaviour and I am embarrassed for everyone associated with building this club,’’ Hill said.

Rebels chief executive Steven Boland told reporters that Beale and Vuna were contracted Wallaby players and the Australian Rugby Union would also be involved.

The incident, according to reports, followed an argument between Beale and Rebels captain Gareth Delve after Beale was told to put his shirt back on before the bus reached their hotel.

Hours after the 10-try defeat by the Sharks at King’s Park, Vuna tweeted that Beale had punched him. “I need to leave right now, this ain’t for me! I tried to help someone but got punched so instead of putting him in hospital il leave!’’

Vuna later tweeted: “Hmmmmm his name is kurtley beale bloody grub!’’

Beale was involved in a fracas at a Brisbane night spot last year and it is alleged that he hit a bouncer. The case has been sent to mediation.

Hill had earlier described the heavy loss to the Sharks “as the worst defeat of my coaching career and probably the worst in Rebels’ history”. He questioned the players’ pride in their jersey.

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