Rebels pair sent home
The Melbourne Rebels have sent Australia internationals Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna home from South Africa for disciplinary reasons after the pair were involved in an incident on the team bus following the record 64-7 Super 15 loss to the Sharks in Durban on Sunday.
The Rebels launched an internal investigation after an alleged altercation between the two, with Rebels chief executive Steven Boland claiming they showed inexcusable "disrespect" to the club.
Winger Vuna claimed on Twitter, in a message which was later deleted, that the injured Beale had punched him, saying: "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!"
Rebels head coach Damien Hill said Beale and Vuna had broken team protocols and as a result could not be part of the side until the disciplinary process was complete.
"The club will not tolerate this type of behaviour and I am embarrassed for everyone associated with building this club," Hill said in a statement on the Rebels website.
Boland said, as both Beale and Vuna were Wallabies players, the Rebels had been liaising with the Australian Rugby Union and would continue to do so.
"There can be no excuses for the disrespect shown to the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Club by these players," he added.
"The expectation of the club and our supporters is that the management and players in South Africa focus immediately on their task of making amends for the poor on field performance in Durban on Saturday by making us all proud in Bloemfontein next weekend."