Delve happy to play with Beale again

Date published: March 28 2013

Rebels captain Gareth Delve is ready to play alongside Kurtley Beale again despite being punched by the Wallaby falling star last week.

Melbourne Rebels captain Gareth Delve is ready to play alongside Kurtley Beale again despite being punched by the Wallaby star during the tour of South Africa.

Beale and winger Cooper Vuna were sent home in disgrace for their part in the incident in Durban last weekend. Vuna will miss Saturday's Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein while Beale has been stood down indefinitely and told to seek external counselling.

Vuna apologised on Wednesday and will be available for the game against Western Force in Perth.

Reports have emerged that Vuna intervened after Beale punched skipper Delve on the team bus after a nightclub outing following the Rebel's record 64-7 loss to the Sharks. Beale, who recently had hand surgery, had been told by Delve to put a shirt back on as the bus approached the team hotel, but he responded by arguing and then punching the former Wales international.

Vuna then reportedly became involved and traded blows with Beale.

“I'm a professional rugby player and for the most part my relationship with Kurtley is excellent,” Delve told Fairfax Media.

“There were factors on the night that aren't going to be an issue for the future, I'd imagine, so it's not something that I can't get past.

“Once the (disciplinary) process is complete I'm more than willing to play alongside Kurtley. I'm sure things will be sorted well before then.”

Delve said he took responsibility for the Rebels players going to a bar because he went against the initial advice of coach Damien Hill that they should stay at the hotel.

The Welshman said he had believed that time bonding between the players would help them rebound against the Cheetahs.

“I've thought about it a lot. It's something that really didn't turn out well and hindsight is 20-20 (so) I suppose at the time the obvious decision was to go back to the hotel,” said Delve.

“Judging by what happened it was a huge mistake, but the intentions were good and I think for the most part most of the players understood the reasons and understood the responsibilities of what we were doing so I'm very disappointed in what happened.”

Beale was in trouble last year after 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.

He was granted bail to attend mediation after appearing in court charged with common assault.