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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Rugby star Kurtley Beale has today acknowledged he needs to deal with off-field issues before returning to action in Super Rugby with the Melbourne Rebels.
Beale has agreed to an indefinite stand down from playing – and to seek external counselling assistance – after being sent home from South Africa over an altercation with teammates.
The Rebels and Qantas Wallabies star who won the coveted John Eales Medal in 2011 has been engaged in a series of meetings over the past 24 hours with officials from Australian Rugby Union, Melbourne Rebels and the Rugby Union Players Association.
He has also accepted a substantial fine over the South African incident after admitting his guilt and foregoing the opportunity to have his case heard by an ARU disciplinary hearing.
“This is an important step for Kurtley and ARU feels an obligation to assist in ensuring, regardless of Rugby, that he moves forward in a positive manner,” said ARU CEO Bill Pulver.
“He knows he needs to be accountable for his actions, and he is determined to overcome the challenges he has faced in recent times.
“The unfortunate matter in South Africa was not an isolated incident for Kurtley.
“He understands it was unacceptable and, most critically, acknowledges he needs to make changes.
“Kurtley is an incredibly talented Rugby player. Two years ago he was the Wallabies’ best player in winning the John Eales Medal.
“Last year, despite playing only 10 games, he was voted the Rebels’ player of the year. Both of those awards were voted on by his playing peers.”
A date for Beale to resume playing has not been set and assessments will be made on a progressive basis.