Beale back on Rebels bench
Melbourne - Kurtley Beale has been named on the Melbourne Rebels' bench for their Super Rugby game against New Zealand's Chiefs on Friday after being suspended for punching two team mates in late March.
Beale was sent home from South Africa and stood down by the Rebels after coming to blows with captain Gareth Delve and winger Cooper Vuna on the team bus following their record 64-7 thrashing by the Durban-based Sharks.
The 24-year-old back addressed his team mates and coaching staff on Tuesday.
"He presented to the playing group in a very candid and honest manner. Knowing these players well, I know how much they want the club to succeed, and have welcomed him back," head coach Damien Hill was quoted as saying by the club website (www.melbournerebels.com.au).
"The club and Australian Rugby have shown trust in the off field program Kurtley has been and will continue to go through. So long as that trust is returned, we will continue to support Kurtley," he added.
The Rebels' hopes of making the playoffs are all but gone but Beale's return would strengthen his claim for a spot in Australia coach Robbie Deans' squad to take on the British and Irish Lions in June-July.
15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Substitutes: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Luke Jones, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Kurtley Beale, 22 Lachlan Mitchell.