Rugby - Beale takes leave of absence to address personal issues

Troubled Wallabies back Kurtley Beale has checked into a private health clinic and will take an indefinite leave of absence from rugby to deal with "personal issues," the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said on Monday.

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Rugby - Beale takes leave of absence to address personal issues
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Kurtley Beale breached 'behavioural guidelines'

Troubled Wallabies back Kurtley Beale has checked into a private health clinic and will take an indefinite leave of absence from rugby to deal with "personal issues", the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said on Monday.

Beale was stood down from his Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels last week for the second time this season after breaching behavioural guidelines related to a programme to deal with his alcohol issues.

"Kurtley has voluntarily entered a private health facility in order to undertake counselling," the ARU said in a statement.

"Any future selection will be dependent upon successful completion of his treatment programme."

The treatment puts Beale's participation in the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour in jeopardy, with Australia coach Robbie Deans set to name a preliminary squad of 25 this weekend for the three-test series.

The 24-year-old was suspended from the Rebels in March for more than a month after punching two of his team mates in South Africa and agreed to undergo counselling after being slapped with a A$40,000 ($40,000) fine by the ARU.

He was re-instated to the Rebels earlier this month with the blessing of his team mates, but days after returning to action with a try off the bench against New Zealand's Chiefs, Beale was stood down again for breaching the terms of his programme.

Beale's former mentor Glen Ella advised the player to admit his alcohol problems and forget about playing the June-July series against the Lions.

"I'd love to see him playing against the Lions but, in all honesty, I think that's (not playing) going to be part of his rehabilitation," the former Wallabies back told Australian media.

"I think he needs to sit this one out.

"My advice to Kurtley - and I love him dearly, he's been a small part of my life - is that he just has to keep away from it and focus on re-establishing his career.

"He needs to come out and say 'every time I do drink, there is an issue'."

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