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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020

Wallaby pair's late night not 'best practice', admits disappointed Robbie Deans

“Suffice to say it wasn’t a comfortable conversation,” said the Australia coach.

Image: Andrew Brownbill/AP/Press Association Images

COACH ROBBIE DEANS said this morning it was not “best practice” for Wallabies James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale to be out until the early hours this week leading up to the team’s must-win second Test against the British and Irish Lions

A photograph of the pair with a Lions fan at a Melbourne fast food restaurant around 4am appeared on a British newspaper’s website on Wednesday following the Melbourne Rebels’ tour match against the Lions.

The pair weren’t involved in the match but were today named in the Wallabies’ team for Saturday’s vital Test, which Australia must win to stay in the three-Test series after the Lions won last week’s opening game 23-21 in Brisbane.

Beale has only just returned to the national team set-up after battling personal issues and being involved in several incidents after drinking, but Wallabies management said the pair were not drinking on the night in question. Deans said he had an uncomfortable conversation with the pair, but they had not broken any of the team’s protocols in staying out late in Melbourne.

“Obviously, that’s not an ideal hour. We’ve had a conversation, for sure. It’s not best practice in terms of sleeping habits,” Deans told a press conference.

“I understand they were keen to catch up with their (Rebels) club mates, but I’m sure the senior playing group will be considering whether we need to make it more difficult (for them).”

Asked if the pair would be stood down, Deans said: “No, no. They haven’t broken any team protocols as such, but obviously it’s not best practice.”

“Suffice to say it wasn’t a comfortable conversation (with them).”

© AFP, 2013

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