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Deans disappointed by duo

Australia coach Robbie Deans was disappointed by the presence of Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor in a fast-food restaurant in the early hours of the morning, but did not consider dropping them.

The Melbourne Rebels duo, who will both start the second Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, were photographed at 3.50am in Hungry Jacks where they posed for pictures with supporters, but the Australian Rugby Union established during an investigation they had not been drinking.

"That's not an ideal hour. We've had a conversation for sure. Suffice to say it wasn't a comfortable conversation," Deans said. "They haven't broken any team protocols, but obviously it's not best practice. They understood that, but it was too late. Yes they will be prepared for this game."

Veteran centre Adam Ashley-Cooper insists the development has not disrupted Australia's build-up to a Test they must win if they are to remain in contention to win the series.

"It's not ideal but we're too far into our preparations to let it affect us. We're focusing on Saturday," he said.

O'Connor failed to impress in last weekend's 23-21 defeat by the tourists but has been given another chance with Beale - a 39th minute replacement in Brisbane - coming in for the concussed Berrick Barnes.

Centres Adam Ashley-Cooper and Christian Leali'ifano start after recovering from their respective shoulder and concussion problems, both sustained at the Suncorp Stadium.

The second and final change to the starting XV sees Joe Tomane, who has recovered from a toe problem, picked on the left wing to plug the gap left by Digby Ioane's series-ending shoulder injury.

Tomane, born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, returned to rugby union last year after four seasons in league.

Australia must beat the Lions on Saturday to remain in contention for the series with the final Test played in Sydney on June 6.



From Belfast Telegraph