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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Kurtley Beale's in Lions limbo after breaking booze ban

This latest drama must now have the troubled star’s future with the Rebels and the Australian Rugby Union on shaky ground.

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KURTLEY BEALE’S HOPES of facing the British and Irish Lions are in doubt after he was suspended for breaching the conditions of his return.

Beale will miss the Rebels’ Super Rugby clash with the Blues on Saturday after drinking alcohol following his side’s loss to the Chiefs on Friday as well as missing a scheduled counselling appointment.

This latest drama must now have the troubled star’s future with the Rebels and the Australian Rugby Union on shaky ground.

Beale was only one-game into his comeback after a month-long ban for an alcohol-fuelled incident in South Africa earlier this season, when he punched team-mates Gareth Delve and Cooper Vuna. The 24-year-old had made an impressive return, scoring a try and almost inspiring the Super Rugby strugglers to an unlikely victory.

It is believed he went out with team-mates on Saturday night and drank alcohol, breaking the conditions of his return to the field. Beale is understood to have come clean to his actions and has been stood down for the trip to Auckland.

He now faces a nervous wait over his future with the ARU and the Rebels to meet for further discussions over the next course of action. Rebels coach Damien Hill spoke to reporters today before the side flew out for Auckland and said this latest development is another disappointing setback for Beale.

“You can’t shy away from the fact that he is one of the best footballers in the country,” Hill said. “It’s just unfortunate that the behavioural side is interfering with that at the moment. It’s really disappointing.”

Asked if he believed Beale would play for the Rebels again, Hill said:

“It’s probably too early to comment on that. Everybody wants a fit and healthy Kurtley on and off the field so he can perform. It’s a work in progress and there’s a lot more to be done.”

It’s yet another mark on what’s becoming a long list of misdemeanours for the gifted back. Beale had assault charges against him dropped last month after he reached an out-of-court settlement with a Brisbane bouncer he allegedly punched during a night out with Quade Cooper in 2012.

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