Cheika explains Ashley-Cooper, Beale omissions

Cheika explains Ashley-Cooper, Beale omissions

Australian rugby chiefs claim the Wallabies have no cultural problems after two players were banned for bringing three women back to the team hotel.

IT was put to Michael Cheika after the Wallabies' record sixth successive defeat to England, ending their worst year, that he must be glad 2018 is finished.

The Australia coach had on Thursday told reporters the gifted playmaker was left out of the matchday squad to play England at Twickenham this weekend for form reasons.

"They're part of our standards, I think that's the right thing these days without a doubt", Cheika said.

Australia are in turmoil after it emerged that Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper were not considered for selection against England on Saturday as punishment for bringing women into their hotel room in Cardiff.

"I think RA need to take a lot of control back off Cheika and use it as a catalyst for change", he said.

The Wallabies arrived in London on Sunday, and Cheika said the leadership group approached him on Tuesday to penalise Beale and Ashley-Cooper for breaching team protocol. "They realised the error in their judgement and they've been very, very proactive in trying to help the other players get ready for tomorrow's game". They're the small things I think we've got to clamp down on. You can't have that grey.

Castle said she wasn't anxious about any wider cultural problems within the team, echoing Cheika and Hooper's views that this breach was a particularly minor one, despite the pair being two of the more experienced players in the team.




Beale and Ashley-Cooper apologised to teammates early this week and set about helping them prepare.

"They've done nothing to hurt anyone else".

Castle was asked if all of Cheika's assistant coaches; Stephen Larkham, Nathan Grey, Simon Raiwalui and Mick Byrne, were safe and she replied: "I would like to stand by the review process, we'll do that with Michael".

Despite Chieka's attempts to downplay the incident, it is another negative headline for the Wallabies, generated by two of his most experienced players in a year where the team have won just four of 12 games.

"Sceptics might be laughing but, give us a few months, and we'll get ourselves together, don't worry". To not get there this time is disappointing for him and the team.

The Wallabies were already reeling from the loss of star back-row David Pocock, ruled out of the England game with a neck injury earlier on Friday, when news of Beale and Ashley-Cooper's exclusion became public.

The coach has also maintained faith with Bernard Foley at inside centre and kept Matt Toomua at five-eighth.

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