Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Wallabies duo 'did nothing wrong'

James O'Connor, pictured left, and Kurtley Beale were not drinking at a late night function in Melbourne
James O'Connor, pictured left, and Kurtley Beale were not drinking at a late night function in Melbourne

The Australia Rugby Union insists Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor have not broken any protocols after the players were seen at a fast-food outlet in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Beale and O'Connor had been watching Tuesday's game between the Melbourne Rebels and the British and Irish Lions ahead of Saturday's potentially decisive Test match against Warren Gatland's men, and the pair later attended a post-match function involving both Australian and Lions players.

They were subsequently pictured with fans eating fast food in Melbourne city centre at 0350am, but an ARU spokesman said that, following an internal investigation, the players were judged to have "done nothing wrong".

Quoted in the Daily Mail, the spokesman said: "There has been a full and thorough investigation of the information. The two players were out last night, but they were not drinking - 10 witnesses we have spoken to corroborated that.

"The players went to the Rebels v Lions game with their team-mates and after the game they went back to a function at a club, with other Rebels guys. Lions players were there as well. After leaving, they stopped off to pick up some food on the way home and had pictures taken with some fans.

"Both players are adamant that they didn't drink and we have checked that out thoroughly. James O'Connor was driving. They have not broken any team protocols. Today is a day off for the squad and there were no commitments until late afternoon.

"These players have done nothing wrong. Within the team protocols, they are expected to behave responsibly and show common sense but there are no curfews in place.

"They are allowed to go out. It was an historic night for the Rebels - their first game against the Lions - and they both play for that team. It is not ideal that the guys were out as late as they were but it was a Tuesday night and they had free time today."

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