Planet Rugby

Loose Pass

25th March 2013 10:24

Share:

Kurtley Beale shades

Not doing himself any favours: Kurtley Beale

This week we will mostly be concerning ourselves with enfants terribles, the Kings fiasco and the Lions (not the ones the Kings elbowed out of Super Rugby though)...

Off home goes Kurtley Beale, a day or so after he apparently, distinctly the worse for a few tinnies, lamped one of his team-mates while cavorting shirtless on the team bus.

It should not go unnoticed that this all happened the same weekend that Zac Guildford - himself no stranger to a bout of drunken shirtless violence - made his return to the Crusaders team, looking in fine form.

Guildford's return is testament to the way the NZRU has managed what threatened to be an unmanageable situation for a while. He's been shown some very clear and consistent boundaries when he's gone off the rails, just as much as he's been shown how welcome he is when he gets back on them. But most important of all, he's been talked to and supported every step of the way.

Compare that to Beale, whose history of off-field drunken misdemeanours is just as documented as Guildford's and where the situations are tediously similar. Beale drinks too much, his already-super ego swells further and when someone dares to tell him the swelling is cramping others' style, Beale goes bonkers - he is still facing charges of assault after an incident in a Brisbane nightclub last year.

It is understood that the primary disciplinary action will come at franchise level, but the ARU, whose integrity officer Phil Thomson is already involved, will have to do something too.

The crucial question is what. You shouldn't just give up. But it's surely time for the ARU to take a leaf out of the NZRU's book and put Beale on a solid, supported foundation where Beale might feel empowered to admit he has a problem and do something about it, rather than just dishing out punishments which leave Beale feeling resentful and discouraged.

If Guildford can bounce back a changed and honest man, Beale can too. But the help has to come from above.


The most quotable line of the week comes from Cheeky Watson, whose excuse for breaching the SARU rules on fielding more than two foreigners a couple of weeks ago was revealed this week as being that he does not perceive his two Argentinean players as being foreigners, saying: "...there is a difference of opinion relating to the definition of foreign players..."

We're presuming you've now stopped laughing.

Virgil Lacombe definitely has, having flown to New Zealand for a couple of days before being flown back to Port Elizabeth to kick his heels.

"Back to square one, nothing to do with sport...How does one regard professional rugby after this??" he tweeted.

'Nothing to do with sport'... where have you heard that in relation to the Kings before?

The whole raison d'être of the Kings was to tap into the vast well of top-quality rugby players supposedly in the Eastern Cape. It was so unfair that the Eastern Cape didn't get a look-in. It was exclusive of SARU, ring-fencing, borderline racist, blah blah blah on and on and on. Now we are being asked to accept that Argentinean is South African local.

It's such a shame. In pure rugby terms, the Kings have been better than expected, even if now the tour and the lack of squad depth is testing them sorely. Sergeal Petersen is a real find.

But in terms of 'nothing to do with sport', the Kings are proving every bit as poor as they promised to be.


With the sun now set on the Six Nations, the cream of Britain and Ireland's crop has most likely given its final audition for Warren Gatland and the Lions tour to Australia.

Obviously there are some Heineken Cup ties looming, but that hardly includes the Welsh players, while a viewing of the Waratahs v Blues and Saracens v Harlequins matches on the same day on Sunday revealed just how far behind Super Rugby the Premiership is at the moment. Club form might be a tie-breaker, but it's not going to be a decisive factor.

Anyway, we are assuming that Warren Gatland will take 37 players on the tour right now, so here's the Loose Pass pick of 37, with a starting Test XV at the end. Be gentle...

Squad: Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Cian Healy, Dan Cole, Mako Vunipola, Euan Murray, Rory Best, Richard Hibbard, Dylan Hartley, Geoff Parling, Alun-Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton, Jamie Heaslip, Chris Robshaw, Toby Faletau, Sean O'Brien, Ben Youngs, Mike Phillips, Danny Care, Jonathan Sexton, Dan Biggar, Greig Laidlaw, Owen Farrell, Jamie Roberts, Brian O'Driscoll, Brad Barritt, Jonathan Davies, George North, Alex Cuthbert, Simon Zebo, Sean Maitland, Leigh Halfpenny, Rob Kearney.

Test XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Rory Best, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Loose Pass compiled by Richard Anderson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26