Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has been accused of punching his team-mate Cooper Vuna and both have been sent home following the Rebels’ record 64-7 Super Rugby loss to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
The Rebels said both players had been stood down and would return home immediately following an internal investigation on Sunday.
Hours after the Rebels’ record 10-try defeat in Durban, Vuna alleged in a tweet that Beale hit him.
“I need to leave right now, this ain’t for me! I tried to help someone but got punched so instead of putting him in hospital il leave!” Vuna posted.
The tweet was deleted but later published on a fan website, with one Twitter user asking Vuna if his alleged assailant was drunk.
Vuna replied: “Hmmmmm his name is kurtley_beale bloody grub!”
Rebels head coach Damien Hill said Beale and Vuna had broken team protocols and as a result could not be part of the team until the disciplinary process was complete.
“The club will not tolerate this type of behaviour and I am embarrassed for everyone associated with building this club,” Hill said in a statement.
Rebels CEO Steven Boland said Beale and Vuna are contracted Wallabies and therefore the Rebels have been liaising with the Australian Rugby Union.
“There can be no excuses for the disrespect shown to the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Club by these players,” Boland said in the statement.
Beale did not play in the Durban match as he continues his recovery from hand surgery, while the Sharks game was Vuna’s first competitive match this season after a shoulder injury.
Beale was granted bail last July to attend mediation after appearing in court charged with common assault.
He was allegedly involved in an altercation with a security guard after he and Wallabies team-mate Quade Cooper were refused entry to a Brisbane pub before Australia’s first Test with Wales in June.
Beale is expected to undertake his first session of mediation next month.