herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Door left open for Beale to make Australia return

Australia will summon Kurtley Beale to their tour of Europe if he proves his fitness after assistant coach Nathan Grey revealed he was left behind for conditioning rather than disciplinary reasons.

Beale was dropped for the last two Tests against Argentina and New Zealand after becoming embroiled in a high-profile row with Wallabies business manager Di Patston, who has since resigned.

The 25-year-old was fined £24,640 on Friday after being found guilty of a serious breach of the Australian Rugby Union's code of conduct.

A tribunal found that Beale had sent an offensive photograph to an ARU employee - which he admitted doing - in June this year.

ELIGIBLE

While eligible for selection for Australia's end-of-season tour, which begins against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday, he was left behind by new head coach Michael Cheika.

However, Grey insists he could be involved in the Tests against Wales, France, Ireland and England.

"Kurtley is back at home training. He hasn't played for a long period of time," Grey said. "We know he's working hard. He's back home trying to get back up to speed with his physical condition.

"Once he's done that he will definitely be considered for selection. He could possibly join us on this tour once he gets back in shape and is ready to go."

Beale has a chequered disciplinary record, most notably spending time in rehabilitation for alcohol-related issues last year, but Grey insists he still has a future with the Wallabies.

"Kurtley was given a fair hearing. The ARU were very diligent over the way they went about the process. He received the fine and accepted that," Grey said.

DISAPPOINTED

"He's clearly disappointed in how things turned out, but he's focused on how he can get back doing what he does best and that's playing rugby.

"We've kept a keen eye on him individually and his welfare is important.

"I'm on the Wallabies coaching team and if Kurtley is one of the best players in Australian rugby then I want him on board."

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