Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale was charged on Friday over an alleged sexual assault at a Sydney pub and Rugby Australia has suspended him from all forms of the game, months before the World Cup.
The veteran fullback, who returned to Australia last year after a stint with French Top 14 side Racing 92, was arrested and taken to a Sydney police station on Friday afternoon.
New South Wales Police said a man had been charged with “two counts of sexually touch another person without consent, incite another to sexually touch them without consent and sexual intercourse without consent”.
It was widely reported to be Beale, 34, who recently became a father. The alleged assault occurred in December.
“The man was refused bail to appear before Parramatta Bail Court tomorrow,” police said.
Beale had returned to Sydney and the NSW Waratahs, where he began his career, to keep himself in the frame to play for Australia at a fourth World Cup in September-October this year.
Should he play, he will join George Gregan and Adam Ashley-Cooper as only the third Australian to feature at four tournaments.
Rugby Australia has suspended him from “all forms of rugby with immediate effect pending the conclusion of legal proceedings, as well as Rugby Australia’s own investigations”.
“This step follows Mr Beale’s arrest and subsequent charge with serious criminal offences, and is in line with Rugby Australia’s Professional Player Code of Conduct,” the governing body added.
“As this remains a legal matter, there will be no further comment until the conclusion of these proceedings.”
Beale has played 95 Tests since making his debut in 2009 and took part in a Wallabies training camp on the Gold Coast this month.
Dave Rennie has since been fired as coach and replaced by former England boss Eddie Jones.
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