Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said utility back Kurtley Beale shouldn’t be sacked over his spat with a team official.
Wallabies captain and openside flanker Michael Hooper said utility back Kurtley Beale shouldn’t be sacked over his spat with a team official and players will express candid views on the subject at an “honesty session” as early as Sunday.
Hooper said the Australian team is “tight” ahead of next weekend’s Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand and he supports coach Ewen McKenzie who has been increasingly drawn into controversy over the resignation of team business manager Di Patston.
Patston quit her role Saturday while Beale faces a judicial process which could end his international career.
Hooper believes an honesty session “is worth doing as a playing group. We need to be honest with each other and that allows for on-field harmony. Once everyone is transparent then you can move forward.”
When asked if Beale – who is also his team-mate at the Waratahs – deserved to be sacked, Hooper said: “No … [but] with that stuff, it is out of our hands.
“I hope KB stays in rugby union and Australian Rugby Union. We are backing Kurtley. I enjoy having him around the team and he is quality on the field.”
The 22-year-old was also asked if he still backs McKenzie and replied: “We back everyone who is in the squad. And you have got to because we are about winning, and we need to get back to winning.
“I think it is a blessing in disguise that a lot of it was last week so we are able to focus on the footy stuff.
“At the end of the day, we want to play rugby, so it is not hard putting that stuff at the back of your mind.
“You have to try to bring positives out of negatives but it has to be done in the appropriate manner, otherwise it is not going to happen.
“That’s why this is a good week to get things together, but it has to be done now.”