Rugby

ARU wanted to rip up Beale contract

2014-11-01 07:04
Kurtley Beale (Gallo Images)

Sydney - Kurtley Beale's contract should have been torn up after he sent an offensive text to an official before an independent disciplinary process took the matter out of the Australian Rugby Union's hands, said the ARU's chairperson.

Beale was fined A$45 000 after the hearing last week for sending the text to the Wallabies' business manager Di Patston in June, though a second message deemed more offensive by the ARU was not proved to have been sent from the player's phone.

"Kurtley sent the first text," ARU chairperson Michael Hawker was quoted as saying by News Limited newspapers on Saturday.

"We felt the first text was inappropriate behaviour by an employee of the organisation and irrespective of what the second text said, the first text in our view was a warrant for us to basically say in our view, we should have his contract torn up.

"All that information went to the tribunal (who) came out with a finding, which was a fine and not tearing the contract up, and we have abided by that.

"We went through a process. We took it to an independent tribunal and we are required under that agreement, and we will honour that agreement, that we will keep him in the game."

The 25-year-old Beale was fined an additional $3 000 on Friday for an in-flight row last month with Patston over a t-shirt.

It was an investigation into that bustup on a flight to South America from Africa that showed up the text messages that sparked last week's code of conduct hearing.

The scandal has plunged Australian rugby into crisis and seen Patston and Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie quit their jobs while chief executive Bill Pulver has been heavily criticised for his handling of the situation.

Hawker said the board stood by Pulver and that he had handled the investigation according to the process set out by the ARU.

"We think Bill has done a tremendous job for rugby over the last 18 months ... on every basis we are very comfortable with Bill's handling of the game," he said.

Beale, who has a litany of off-field indiscretions, is now free to play for the Wallabies again though it is unlikely he will be called into new coach Michael Cheika's squad for their end-of-season tour of Europe.

The utility back is out of contract at the end of the season and the ARU said that, after Friday's second fine, it would now reopen negotiations with him over a new deal.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  kurtley beale  |  rugby
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