There comes a time when even the most talented of players need to be cast adrift when their behaviour continually creates problems off the field. Kurtley Beale certainly falls into that category given his indiscretions of the last eighteen months culminating with a $45,000.00 fine for sending an offensive text message to a female staffer.
Beale has had a ‘colourful’ career with a number of brushes with the law since 2010. I don’t intend to look back at earlier incidents, but if we simply look at the recent past since early 2013, there is plenty to be troubled about. Starting with a fight with teammates in March 2013, when Beale was part of the Melbourne Rebels squad playing in South Africa, he was sent home in disgrace, put on an alcohol ban, fined and suspended indefinitely by Rebels management. Regrettably, the Rebel’s indefinite suspension did not last all that long.
After returning to the Rebels side, within two months, Beale admitted to breaking the alcohol ban and was stood down for breaching behavioural guidelines. Less than a month after, in June 2013, Beale was photographed at a fast food outlet at 3.50am several days before the second test against the British and Irish Lions. The Rebels found that Beale had not been drinking. I don’t see that as the point though. No player, who is serious about representing his country, would (or should) be out at that hour of the morning before a very important game.
Fast forward to the most recent indiscretion. Beale still has not learned anything as far as I am concerned. His statement that he has been ‘vindicated’ misses the point completely. The reason for vindication? Beale was found guilty of only sending one offensive text to a female staffer….and not two.
Along with the fine, there should have been a lengthy suspension. Nowhere in Beale’s history do I see genuine contrition or remorse. His apology to the staffer seems to have been motivated purely on the grounds of self preservation evidenced by the request to ‘not tell anyone’ that accompanied the apology.
The Wallabies will never be a power in world rugby while they tolerate any player behaving in this manner. What example are the ARU setting to young players? Do they realise off field behaviour and on field performance are very much related? With the World Cup looming, I doubt Australia’s performance will improve very much from where we are at the moment…..maybe fourth in the World.