The Melbourne Rebels have confirmed that their utility back Kurtley Beale, who would have been a near certain starter for the Lions series, has taken 'an indefinite leave of absence' from rugby. Following the Rebels' loss to the Chiefs on May 3rd, Beale broke an alcohol ban at a Melbourne Storm rugby league game and then missed a psychologist's appointment the next day. Attending the appointment was a strict requirement for the Australian Rugby Union's rehabilitation programme.He has now voluntarily entered a rehabilitation clinic and has stepped away from rugby indefinitely.
A statement released by the Melbourne Rebels said. "Kurtley will take an indefinite leave of absence from playing rugby to seek assistance in resolving personal issues. Kurtley has voluntarily entered a private health facility in order to undertake counselling for ongoing issues. He has done this with the backing of ARU, RUPA [Rugby Union Players' Association] and the Melbourne Rebels who congratulate him on this decision to seek assistance. Any future selection will be dependent upon successful completion of his treatment program."
Beale was banned earlier in the season after punching captain Gareth Delve and team-mate Cooper Vuna on a night out in Durban and it now seems that he will more than likely miss out on the Lions series this summer.
Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE