Why ARU are loyal to brawling Beale

Thu, 21 Jun 2012 09:06
There are a lot of lessons to be learnt

The Australian Rugby Union's willingness to back their players to the hilt was once again displayed this week when they stood behind utility back Kurtley Beale, despite his pending criminal charges.

The ARU's Chief Executive, John O'Neill, believes letting the troubled superstar, Beale, play against Wales this coming Saturday is the best thing they can do for him.

Beale will start at fullback for the third Test against the tourists, despite facing a court case following an incident in Brisbane two weeks ago.

The 23-year-old stands accused of assaulting a security guard at a nightclub prior to the first Test against Wales, but the ARU has opted not to reprimand Beale until the matter has played out in court.

ARU boss O'Neill told the media it was important not to pre-judge the outcome of the case and that Beale was better off training and playing.

"[There are] a lot of lessons to be learnt and are we concerned about that incident, of course we are, but I think it's better for all parties if Kurtley plays rugby," he said.

Saturday's Test will be Beale's first for the Wallabies since last year's bronze final at the Rugby World Cup.

Hamstring and shoulder injuries have ruled him out of the side's international matches since then.

''In terms of helping him and any issues he may have, with the ability that he has, and the care and attention that he's receiving from [Wallabies coach] Robbie Deans and the coaching staff, the best thing for that young man is to play the game.''

Beale is understood to have been jolted by the assault charge and has thrown himself into training with the Wallabies squad this week.