No more boozy nights for Wallabies
February 4, 2014
Adam Ashley-Cooper is confident team guidelines will be adhered to © Getty Images
Wallabies backline stalwart Adam Ashley-Cooper is confident there won't be any repetition of the late-night boozing incident that led to him and five other players being stood down from a Test during the 2013 European tour.
Ashley-Cooper was the most senior of the players suspended for a Test against Scotland last November, following the night out in Dublin in the lead-up to the match against Ireland the previous week.
Ashley-Cooper, fellow back Nick Cummins and forwards Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan and Liam Gill were all suspended by coach Ewen McKenzie. Nine other players received disciplinary warnings as McKenzie sought to reinforce high off-field standards.
He has always been regarded as one of the model citizens of the Wallabies and his mother took to the radio airwaves to defend his reputation. Back at New South Wales Waratahs training, Ashley-Cooper was philosophical about the incident which prevented him playing in all 15 Tests of Australia's gruelling 2013 schedule.
"I guess you've got to use any type of experience like that as a learning experience," he said. "Not only from a professional point of view, but from a life point of view as well. Now that there's clarity and there's actual guidelines around what we can and what we can't do, then I'm confident to say it will never happen again."
He spent most of last season's Super Rugby campaign at outside centre while he alternated between that position and the wing for the Wallabies. He wasn't sure where NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika would play him this season.
"With the mix of players this year, It's really hard to say where 'Cheik' wants me to play, but I suspect somewhere in that midfield, 12 or 13. But with the calibre of players and the different type of combinations that we can play with and experiment with, I wouldn't expect to be just limited to the midfield."
He will have his first outing of 2014 on Friday when he plays a half of the trial against the Blues in Sydney. Ashley-Cooper said it would be hard to plan for the Blues rugby league convert Benji Marshall without having seen the New Zealander's rugby debut last week.
"With the level of uncertainty and unpredictability he becomes quite a threat," he said.