Beale back after suspension

    2013-04-29 07:40
    Melbourne -  Australia back Kurtley Beale has re-joined Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels after a month-long exile to deal with alcohol-related issues, the team said on Monday.

    Beale was stood down indefinitely last month after punching two of his team mates in South Africa following the Rebels' record 64-7 thrashing by the Durban-based Sharks in the southern hemisphere competition.

    The player, who was sent home from South Africa in the wake of the team bus incident, completed training and team logistics on Monday, the team said in a statement.

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    "Over the past five weeks, Kurtley has undertaken an off-field program, which was established following collaboration between Australian Rugby Union, the Rebels, the Rugby Union Players Association and Kurtley," the statement said.

    "Beale will continue to undertake an agreed off-field program."

    The 24-year-old, Australia's first-choice flyhalf during their season-ending tour of Europe last year, would train again with the full squad on Tuesday, opening the door for his selection for the Rebels' home match against the defending champion Chiefs on Friday.

    Rebels head coach Damien Hill would consult with the playing group and be guided by Beale's training form and "integration" within the team, before considering him for selection, the statement added.

    The Rebels' hopes of making the playoffs are all but gone, having won only two matches midway through the season, but Beale's reinstatement would allow him to press his case for a spot in Australia coach Robbie Deans's squad to take on the British and Irish Lions.

    Beale was left out of an initial squad of 30 assembled for a team camp earlier this month, but can still stake his claim with a strong showing in coming weeks for the Rebels ahead of the three-Test series in June and July.

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