Kurtley Beale’s chances of playing for Australia against the British and Irish Lions next month suffered a significant reverse yesterday when his club, the Melbourne Rebels, said the back would take an indefinite leave of absence from Super Rugby and enter a private health clinic.
Last week, Beale was stood down just one match after returning from a month-long ban after an alcohol-fuelled altercation with two Rebels team-mates during a tour to South Africa. His most recent ban came after he admitted drinking alcohol with some team-mates after a match a week ago, breaching an agreement he had made with the club. The Rebels said future selection “will be dependent upon successful completion of his treatment programme”.
Beale’s long-time former mentor Glen Ella, himself an ex-Wallabies back, said: “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. I think he needs to sit this one out.”