Beale 'must learn hard lesson'

    2013-05-13 09:43
    Sydney - Kurtley Beale needs to be barred from playing the British and Irish Lions as part of a tough love punishment aimed at saving the wayward Wallaby's career.

    So says Beale's former long-time mentor Glen Ella who also believes the 24-year-old needs to finally admit he has a problem with alcohol.

    Ella, who managed the schoolboy star from the age of 13 to 19, told AAP he felt the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) needed to follow NRL club Canterbury's hard-line stance with another indigenous football star, Ben Barba.

    The ARU, Melbourne Rebels and the Rugby Union Players' Association will meet in the next 24-48 hours to decide when Beale can return to the game following his latest suspension due to an alcohol-related misdemeanour.

    "I'd love to see him playing against the Lions but, in all honesty, I think that's going to be part of his rehabilitation," said former Wallabies back Ella. "I think he needs to sit this one out.

    "The Lions only come around every 12 years and we want to be able to put our best team on the park but he is a Wallaby and there's traditions that have gone on before Kurtley that we have to uphold and getting into trouble continually is not one of those."

    Beale denied he had a drinking problem after his initial suspension by the Rebels for striking team-mates Cooper Vuna and Gareth Delve in South Africa on March 23.

    He was stood down for last weekend's 36-32 loss to the Blues in Auckland for breaking the terms of his rehab agreement by drinking the night after his eye-catching return against the Chiefs.

    "My advice to Kurtley - and I love him dearly, he's been a small part of my life - is that he just has to keep away from it and focus on re-establishing his career," Ella said on Monday.

    "He needs to come out and say every time I do drink, there is an issue.

    "With a lot of young blokes now, it's a binge-drinking (culture). They don't drink a lot but, when they do, they drink too much.

    "He has to be able to control himself now. He's old enough to make the right decisions.

    "He's been blessed with the talent and part of that comes (with) responsibility to be a role model - not just for Aboriginal kids but young kids all over Australia."

    Ella first began mentoring Beale when he started at St Joseph's College in Sydney and played a major hand in his rise to play for the Waratahs at 18.

    He felt rugby would play an important role in Beale's rehabilitation but he needed to return to Sydney to be close to his support network.

    "It's probably like Benny Barba," Ella said. "He needs to be around his friends and he needs to be occupied and he needs to be playing rugby.

    "I always felt it was going to be a bad decision going to Melbourne - that was my opinion.

    "He needs to be surrounded by people he can trust and an environment he can work with.

    "I'm not saying Melbourne is a bad place but he's got a lot more people here that he can rely upon."

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