Beale accepts he's made 'bad choices'
March 29, 2013
Kurtley Beale says "alcohol sometimes doesn't agree with me" © Getty Images
Suspended Wallabies star Kurtley Beale is staying in Sydney with his family rather than returning to the Melbourne Rebels fold. Beale is in Mt Druitt with his mother Kathy, to whom he is very close, and extended family, but his next step is unclear.
Beale was stood down indefinitely and fined heavily by the Rebels and the Australian Rugby Union, for punching Rebels captain Gareth Delve and team-mate Cooper Vuna. Winger Vuna was rubbed out for one game for his role in the alcohol-fuelled late-night fracas that followed a club-record loss to the Sharks in Durban last weekend.
The Rebels issued a statement saying they hoped Beale would "embrace the assistance required" to deal with his alcohol issues, but Beale appears to be at odds with the franchise, denying he has a problem despite the altercation among a string of incidents. Beale issued a statement to Fox Sports' Rugby HQ program, saying drinking was not a major issue for him. "I really don't think I have an alcohol problem but sometimes alcohol doesn't agree with me," he said. "In a controlled environment - at a barbecue or at a restaurant - I'm fine, but, at other times, I make bad choices.
"I had no intent to hit Cooper or Gareth. It was very stupid and disrespectful. I asked for time and space to calm down and wasn't able to get it. I'm working hard to fix the problems. I'm not perfect and I know I have got issues and I have to deal with it and fix those issues. It is an ongoing battle for me."
Beale is sidelined with a broken hand, and he hopes to return from suspension after the Rebels' bye to face the Crusaders in in Christchurch on April 28. That would still give him time to reassure Wallabies coach Robbie Deans that he can face the touring British & Irish Lions, with the first Test on June 22.
Beale is off contract with the Rebels at the end of the Super Rugby season, and he reported to want to return to New South Wales Waratahs. He is also believed to be a target for struggling NRL club St George Illawarra.