Tough love best for Beale – Ella

Date published: May 13 2013

Kurtley Beale's former mentor, Glen Ella, believes the Wallaby star should miss out on the Lions tour for his own good.

Kurtley Beale's former mentor, Glen Ella, believes the Wallaby star should miss out on the Lions tour for his own good.

Beale sat out the Rebels's narrow defeat to the Blues after being stood down after he contravened the conditions of the rehabilitation program that was put in place after he punched two team-mates after a drunken night out in Durban. The 24-year-old was found to have consumed alcohol at an NRL game, with a condition of his return to action that he would not drink.

The versatile back's prodigious talent means that he remains in the frame to face the British and Irish Lions despite his off-field troubles.

However, Ella, who managed Beale from the age of 13 to 19, feels that the player would be best served by not being selected.

“I'd love to see him playing against the Lions but, in all honesty, I think that's going to be part of his rehabilitation,” Ella told AAP. “I think he needs to sit this one out.

“The Lions only come around every 12 years and we want to be able to put our best team on the park but he is a Wallaby and there's traditions that have gone on before Kurtley that we have to uphold and getting into trouble continually is not one of those.”

Ella has called on Beale to take responsibility for his actions and make positive changes but suggests that the Australian Rugby Union follow NRL club Canterbury's stance on their troubled star, Ben Barba.

Barba was sidelined indefinitely by the Bulldogs in February as a result of a handful of off-field issues. The club offered their complete support to Barba but said that he would not return until he had resolved his problems.

“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,” said Ella.

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

“With a lot of young blokes now, it's a binge-drinking (culture). They don't drink a lot but, when they do, they drink too much.

“He has to be able to control himself now. He's old enough to make the right decisions.

“He's been blessed with the talent and part of that comes (with) responsibility to be a role model – not just for Aboriginal kids but young kids all over Australia.”

Ella added that it might be advisable for Beale to return to Sydney where he would be surrounded by family and friends.

“It's probably like Benny Barba,” said the four-cap Wallaby.

“He needs to be around his friends and he needs to be occupied and he needs to be playing rugby.

“I always felt it was going to be a bad decision going to Melbourne – that was my opinion.

“He needs to be surrounded by people he can trust and an environment he can work with.

“I'm not saying Melbourne is a bad place but he's got a lot more people here that he can rely upon.”