ARU gives Kurtley Beale a last chance warning

Kurtley Beale THE Australian Rugby Union on Friday issued Kurtley Beale a last-chance warning after slapping the controversial playmaker with another fine following the completion of a second investigation into his recent off-field conduct.

Beale was fined $3000 over his in-flight verbal altercation with former staffer Di Patston and other members of the Wallabies management team while en route from South Africa to Argentina last month.

The sanction follows the $45,000 fine an ARU tribunal imposed on Beale last week for his text message scandal.

ARU boss Bill Pulver said the governing body now planned to resume contract negotiations with Beale and hoped the fallen star would return to being ‘‘a wonderful asset to our game’’.

But he made it clear that Beale was on notice for the final time.

‘‘He’s had a lot of chances and I’m pretty certain Kurtley is going to be very focused on behaviours that are consistent with our core values,’’ Pulver said.

‘‘The Kurtley Beale I want in Australian rugby is the one who has excited rugby fans for many years, just a great indigenous rugby player and important part of the fabric of our game.

‘‘But most importantly one that constantly adheres to the behaviours consistent to the core values of the game, and I am pretty confident that’s what we’re going to see from Kurtley from here on.’’

Beale’s 47-Test career has been blighted by a succession of off-field indiscretions dating back to 2007, even before his Wallabies debut two years later.

In total, he has been fined $94,500 for five separate incidents, including drink driving, urinating outside a nightclub and last year for an alcohol-fuelled punch-up with two Melbourne Rebels teammates on a Super Rugby tour of South Africa.

The 25-year-old has also endured multiple suspensions and been forced to undergo counselling and rehabilitation for alcohol-related issues.

The latest integrity unit investigation determined that Beale committed a ‘‘moderate’’ breach of team protocols during the Wallabies’ journey from Cape Town to South America last month.

He was found guilty of inappropriate public behaviour by being rude and disrespectful of Wallabies management in public.

The investigation was initially put on hold until the tribunal dealt with the issue of Beale’s inadvertent distribution of an offensive text message about Patston.

Patston, a central figure in the mid-air row, has since resigned as Wallabies business and logistics manager, citing stress, as has then-Test coach Ewen McKenzie.

Beale is off contract at the end of the year and has been linked to a code switch to the NRL or a move to France, but he now appears set to accept a lifeline to remain in Australian rugby until at least after next year’s World Cup in Britain. AAP

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