|The Australian Rugby Union today announced it has referred a new allegation involving Qantas Wallaby Kurtley Beale to an independent Code of Conduct Tribunal for review and assessment.The additional matter was raised for the first time with ARU management earlier this week, during a separate investigation into an in-flight incident between Beale and three members of the Wallaby management team on Sunday 28 September 2014.As a result of these new allegations, he will not be considered for selection for the Qantas Wallabies until the Code of Conduct Tribunal reaches a conclusion.
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said it is appropriate for the allegations to be assessed independently due to their serious nature.
“This matter relates to Kurtley Beale allegedly distributing what we consider highly inappropriate and deeply offensive text messages and images to a number of people in June, referencing an ARU staff member,” Mr Pulver said.
“We became aware of this incident this week and believe an independent Tribunal is the appropriate forum for these allegations to be considered. This also provides Kurtley with an opportunity to present his response to the matter through an impartial process.
“The investigation into the argument on the plane has become a secondary matter in recent days, with our focus diverted to these new allegations. We will finalise the investigation into the in-flight argument in due course.”
The Code of Conduct Tribunal will be chaired by District Court Judge Mark Williams and will include representatives nominated by the Australian Rugby Union and the Rugby Union Players’ Association.
The date for the Code of Conduct Tribunal hearing will be set in coming days, but it is expected to proceed early next week.