Breaking: Fifteen Wallabies reprimanded, Six stood down - Green and Gold Rugby

Breaking: Fifteen Wallabies reprimanded, Six stood down

Breaking: Fifteen Wallabies reprimanded, Six stood down

Statement from the Wallabies – 

Qantas Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has stood down six squad members for one match and sanctioned a further nine for breaches of internal team protocols.

McKenzie said all Qantas Wallabies players are aware of team expectations that they are not to take part in any activities that may impact their ability to perform as a professional athlete.

“Everyone in our squad is required to comply with and adhere to high standards of ethical conduct both on and off the field,” McKenzie said.

“Those standards were compromised in the lead-up to Saturday’s victory over Ireland with a group of players making the decision to stay out late and consume inappropriate levels of alcohol during the early hours of Wednesday morning.”

Following a review of each individual circumstance, McKenzie has handed down varying degrees of punishments from a one-game suspension to written or verbal warnings.

The level of punishment has been determined by the severity of the infraction for each individual and was also based on the expectations of players preparing for the Ireland Test as part of the 23-man match day squad.

The six players to receive a one-game suspension are wingers Adam Ashley Cooper and Nick Cummins; front-rowers Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson and Paddy Ryan; and backrower Liam Gill.

The suspensions will be served in Saturday night’s clash against Scotland at Murrayfield with the exception of Ryan, who will serve his suspension in Australia’s final Spring Tour clash against Wales.

Ryan’s delayed suspension is due to IRB regulations requiring each match day squad to contain at least four props. With only five props chosen in Australia’s 32-man touring squad, one of either Robinson or Ryan is required to participate in each of the upcoming Tests against Scotland and Wales.

Additional sanctions were broken into written (Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga’a, Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps) or verbal (Scott Fardy, Mike Harris, Ben McCalman and Nic White) disciplinary warnings.

McKenzie said the punishments were to reinforce high internal cultural standards and not in response to any external investigations or complaints

“The Qantas Wallabies, in conjunction with the ARU, have decided to take significant action in a quest to drive the highest standards off the field,” McKenzie said

“Let’s be clear – these are internal sanctions and aren’t a result of any complaints or reports of inappropriate or sinister behaviour while our players were out. Instead, we have chosen to address an issue that has come up internally and we are now being up-front about it.

“We’ve done this because we need to continually reinforce the need for our players to make smart decisions to benefit the team.

“The worst thing you could do for the Qantas Wallabies in the long-term is do nothing because that would mean we would be ignoring poor culture and a significant performance issue.

“We will always take action in relation to examples of poor culture when it’s warranted – doing nothing to address poor behaviour will never be an option. We’ve taken on the challenge of re-defining our team culture.

“This is not a simple process but it needs to happen so we can have a chance to be the best team we can be. Already this year we’ve spent a lot of time being crystal clear around behaviours to ensure we are in a position to take the step-up to the next level.

“The reality is that if we are going to reach these levels, the players need to be making the right decisions as professional athletes and need to do everything possible to perform at their best for each Test.

“We also need to recognise the players who are doing the right thing and ensure our behaviours are in-line with the expectations of our stakeholders and our fan base.”

McKenzie said the sanctions also wouldn’t be used as an excuse for poor performance against Scotland at Murrayfield.

“There is no doubt having talented players unavailable will put this team under significant pressure but we won’t be using this situation as an excuse,” he said.

“For us, this is a great opportunity to circle the wagons and re-calibrate our behaviours to get back on track off the field.

“I am disappointed on a personal level, but firm action is the best outcome when presented with a scenario like this. You need to deal with issues to ensure everyone can be accountable for their actions.

“The players involved have accepted the outcomes and we’ll concentrate on moving on and making the best of the situation. Our entire focus remains on beating Scotland.”

Link’s Dublin Sanctions

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  • Ian Daley

    Good boy Quade.

    • bazzar

      was he stealing laptops instead?

      • Ian Daley

        Stealing the hearts of mums and daughters.

        • bazzar

          Don’t let good performance on the pitch erase sheer stupidity off of it.

        • follower

          Way to hold a grudge there bazzar

        • bazzar

          It shouldn’t be forgotten so he can continue to set a good example for the rest of the team, he’s improved massively since being given the vice-captaincy, it would be terrible to see him backslide.

        • Jenkss

          The comment wasn’t exactly necessary though.

        • bazzar

          it is cluttering up the comments section, probably best if it were deleted.

        • Bairdy

          Cooper’s sheer stupidity off the pitch? Last I checked, the article makes NO mention of Cooper drinking a few nights before a match. Why aren’t you berating the sheer stupidity of Cummins, Gill, AAC etc. you imbecile?

        • bazzar

          His past stupidity, he’s still on his final strike at the ARU, one more and he goes the way of Lote.

        • FWIW

          Doubt he’d be the VC if he was regarded the same as last chance Lote. Care to share how you came across that information?

        • bazzar

          it was in the press, and on this site years ago IIRC, there was the laptops and telling the truth about Deans publicly.

        • Ian Daley

          A lot has happened since then, but if the message hadn’t got through to Quade by now he wouldn’t be part of the Dublin 6 anyway because he’d be cooling his heels in Bali with the rest of the Parramatta Rugby League Team.

        • bazzar

          good point.

        • Jenkss

          I love how “telling the truth about Deans publicly” is a bad thing. I thought at the time (and still think now) that Cooper did the right thing speaking up.

        • bazzar

          They’re stupid too especially Benn, as he’s been Captain for NSW he should know better.

        • Davey

          nailing bazzar’s

        • bazzar

          she’s dead, calling Cooper a necrophile is a bit much even for me.

      • from on high

        WTF, do you have to make this comment?

    • Old weary

      Was he even invited???

  • galumay

    What a bunch of halfwits, why is it that these privileged bogans think it is ok to behave in this way? If any of us breached company policy in this way we would be sacked. This dummies get off with a one week suspension. The only element that surprises me is that someone in the organisation had the balls to make the right call and didnt just gloss over it as ‘boys will be boys.’ A disgrace to their country.

    • calm yourself

      Settle Petal ..

    • ozed

      Jesus. disgrace to their country?! bit steep champ. They had a few beers, they didn’t bash anyone/get bashed, sht on a hotel wall, glass their girlfriends, receive fellatio from a dog… i should probably lay off the leaguies now, but my point being… fck it, i can’t remember

    • Robbo

      Wowser. Moss Keane and Willie Duggan would have have 4 pints of Arthur G. On game day. before the game! Then treat their guests, the opposition, to innumerable pints at the after match function in the Shelbourne Hotel. I was there. Everyone in great form if unsteady. So have these young lads have committed some ugly crime…I don’t think so yet it’s the way our society and rugby has changed. The “qantas” wallabies? That’s odd, I thought they’re Australian.

    • MM

      I hope you don’t get altitude sickness from where you are, and if you fall from the high horse you’re on you could do yourself a serious injury……..what a shame that would be

  • Tangawizi

    There’s a new Sheriff in Dodge City, I mean Camp Wallaby and he clearly won’t be tolerating any shit!

    Expensive night out for the 6 banned….

    • bazzar

      Ruinous for Gill with Pocock coming back next year and with Hooper ahead of him.

  • Rebel Rouser

    Wow. Wasn’t expecting to see this headline when I came to the page. Although I’m a bit shocked, I think it’s probably the right move. McKenzie is clearly drawing a line in the sand. First O’Connor. Now this. A strong team needs to have the right culture, and this short term pain will hopefully make for a long term gain. Thumbs up Ewen.

    Also very interesting is to think who’s names are not on the list. A few tigers have really changed their stripes, perhaps?

  • bazzar

    There goes Gill’s best shot at a starting position on this tour.

    • Known Rugby

      Gutted, was looking forward to seeing what he brought to the breakdown.

      Can’t fault Link though, just as well it wasn’t for not doing their homework.

    • bazzar

      and with TPN out more pressure on Moore, he better not get injured.

      • Meatray

        TPN hasn’t really been around anyway so its not a massive loss though I’m genuinely surprised he is on this list given he has just got back into the squad. Gutted about Gill, I really wanted to watch him start, I cant see him getting a start for a long time again given the depth that could be there next season

        • bazzar

          I’m more worried about Moore than the loss of TPN, we’ll need him in top form for Wales.

        • Meatray

          yeah fair call

  • Grickles

    I agree with what Ewen Mckenzies done but honestly it isn’t THAT big a deal. They went out drinking a bit late but they didn’t get into any punch ups and didn’t commit any crimes so honestly a one match suspension is fair. Just want to put this in here before people blow it out of preportion.

    • Bairdy

      And it’s no different to JOC and Beale’s late night HJ’s trip before the second Lions test, or JOC missing team meetings, how? These guys are professional sportsmen and are paid to play rugby. Having a piss up is not game preparation, unbecoming of a professional paid the big bucks to represent their country.

      • Hazel

        What James O’Connor and Beale did can’t really be compared to players going out to have a few drinks. Players have been doing this since forever (AB’s included). Mckenzie should of just had a quiet word with these guys telling them not to spit again but instead he calls a massive press conference an publicly shaming them and there by ruining all the momentum they’ve been getting. Also doing this almost a ful WEEK after the incident makes this reek of it being a publicity stunt on the part of McKenzie

        • Ian Daley

          Well at least we know where Link stands on the matter. There should be no confusion from players in the future.

        • Jenkss

          Good on Link for making a stand and sticking by what he said when he came into the job.

          These guys are professionals, they should act like it. They aren’t on holidays. They are there to win rugby matches.

        • Hazel

          That’s not the problem, good on him for making a stand. The problem is that he’s slowed down the Wallabies momentum and publicly shamed players who didn’t do all that wrong. If the headline had been RUGBY PLAYERS GO OUT DRINKING AND DON’T CAUSE ANY DISTERBENCES then no one would have batted an eye lid, maybe even applauded them but instead what we get is Mckenzie publicly shaming players and ruining their confidence at such a critical time for the Wallabies over an extremely petty reason.

        • Tao Te Ching

          It’s dreadful management. Punishment is fine, and a hard line is too, but public humiliation isn’t. It should have been dealt with in private.

        • Robson

          Can’t agree there Tao mate. Basically it’s the public (which includes sponsors) who pay their wages.

        • brumby runner

          Once Link decided he had to stand them down, he was obliged to publicly say why. Imagine the uproar there would have been if it appeared that they had been dropped or rested from the Scotland game when the 4 forwards involved are essentially bench players and the two backs are established starters. Why rest bench players or why drop bench players who have contributed positively when they’ve come on? Why drop backs who are now starting to gel in their combinations and one of them is one of the more consistent performers over the past couple of years, and the other is just now showing that he belongs at this level? There would have been a real shit fight on this site if nothing had been said (especially as four of them are Tahs! – not a slight on the Tahs, the same could have been said had they mostly been Brumbies or Reds.).

        • Gus

          How are you going to drop 4 key players (AAC, TPN, Robbo and Cummins) in private? Seriously? After Kuridrani gets suspended for his tip tackle that leaves Chris F’Sautia starting at 13, Folau and Tomane on the wings, and either Foley or Harris at 15. No way you name that team without it causing an even bigger stir about going ons in the camp and discord in the team. Better to clear the air publicly before it all just descends into rumor. I don’t think anyone thinks the players named are bad guys (it was about half the squad after all) so calling it humiliation is a bit much…

        • notasthinkasyoudrunkiam

          Chill out Mrs Ashley-Cooper, we heard you on Triple-M

        • Tao Te Ching

          Do you mean that JOC and Beale going to Burger King is worse?

        • Robson

          But they were serial offenders

        • Mcdoogles

          JOC and Beale had one of the biggest tests of their lives coming up, Cummins, AAC and the other guys had a day off the next day anyway. Add to that, that they performed well on the weekend and this looks to be in a whole different league from O’Connor ‘s escapades.

      • The Slow Eater

        Totally agree. How can professional sportsmen have a mid week piss up between 2 important games. Lucky they only got one week. Not sure why Link waited a week though ?

    • Mcdoogles

      Agreed, I also find it quite funny considering these happened last week that Mckenzie decided to wait to repremand them until after we had beaten Ireland…

      • bazzar

        Too disruptive, pity it’s the Scotland match because we really need to bury those demons. Though I wonder if we played so well against Ireland because of the impending disciplinary threat.

        • Gottsy

          I’ve got a feeling these blokes will be training the house down for the rest of the tour too

      • armatt

        The side would have been picked well and truly by then. Given the points Grickles made re: nothing sinister, I think it’s fair that the suspensions be delayed as they have been.

        • Robson

          Totally agree.

      • Funk

        he had to wait a week, they went out Wed night, the team had Thursday off, which means that Link would have had Friday to prepare a new team before the Ireland game on Sat night…

  • Keith

    Ha, poor buggers. Nothing better than sitting in a pub in Dublin with your mates enjoying the craic and downing a dark ale or three. Wish I was there…

  • Curious

    But most importantly, Did the Honey badger get some meat?

    • YES

      Honey badger can eat some meat alright, sitting in the grandstand with some sauce this weekend..

  • John Eales

    Ai caramba, I knew something bad would happen after that Irish win.
    I really hope this kind of disciplinary action by Ewen leads to respect rather than resentment though.

    • Bairdy

      It occurred the Wednesday before the Ireland test, not after.

      • John Eales

        I meant because the story’s only just broken

  • A bit much

    This is a little goody two shoes-ed in my opinion. Given the football some of these guys played on the weekend (some on the list were among the Wallabies best), it clearly didn’t affect their preparation at all. In fact, some of them may have aimed up because they were personally disappointed in their own behaviour during the week and were eager to make amends.

    Not that I think their shouldn’t have been some team sanctions, but there’s a difference in dealing with it in the dressing sheds and publicly naming and shaming as McKenzie has done.

    A lot of confidence and team building would have been gained out of the performance on the weekend, which was not perfect but probably their best of the season so far, and that momentum has now been lost over this public reaction. The infractions as far as I am concerned are not hanging offences, and given you read nothing of it in the papers, there can’t be anything substantial to this. The British press will beat up even the whiff of a scandal.

    Its easier to get on our high horse when you have the team developed to the point and the depth that Steve Hansen does. What certainly is difficult is getting regular opportunities like last Sunday’s match to cement some confidence and good feeling within a team that has been pilloried all year.

    • highball

      If McKenzie hadn’t publicly addressed this and it came out in the press later, he would be accused of giving players a pass on unsuitable behaviour. Just as Deans did.
      That’s something he obviously doesn’t want to be perceived as doing.

      • A bit much

        All these different bazzars are confusing me

      • Robbo

        Interesting point. So it’s about the coach (self preservation) and the sponsor – ‘Qantas’ and ‘qantas’ that. That and the players are treated as corporate commodities (the ‘they’re paid’ argument) & will do as their told. In short it’s the money, even Link’s language reads like govt/corporate PR nonsense…now would ya buy us a pint there!

    • Mcdoogles

      Mckenzie could have been a lot more quiet about this. This sort of public shaming won’t help the team

      • Building foundations…..

        Set the example or be made an example.

    • Gottsy

      I’ve got a suspicion the boys knew it was coming, and will be keen to make amends. I don’t think they’ll be like little kids and go to their rooms and sulk because they got in trouble, I reckon the boys will be ripping in to make it up to the coach. look at what happened to england at the last world cup, you cant be world beaters these days if you’re out getting smashed on school nights and getting away with it

  • The Cheat

    Izzy must have been on the gear instead because he was fken flying on Saturday night!! :) :)

  • Luke Terracini

    Was it just me or did everyone else breathe a sigh of relief when you realized Quade wasn’t involved.

    • bazzar

      yep, which is why I wondered what he was doing.

      • Luke Terracini

        Probably the same thing the other two thirds of the team was doing?

    • Alan Jones

      My mail tells me that Quade was in his team hotel lounge, all snugged up in his Tweed dressing gown and Herringbone-Print Velvet Slippers, sipping hot chocolate and playing checkers with his captain Ben Mowen.

      • Yin Yang


  • Rubgy

    Look at all those Tahs…

    • bazzar

      Cheika’s got his work cut out.

  • Casper

    Damn… Would have liked to have seen Gill and TPN get a start against Scotland

  • Jimmy

    The rationale is sound but this reeks, Our 4 strongest players ( Folau, Hooper, Toomua and Cooper) all amazingly home and tucked up were they? BS. The only 2 sure fire starters in AAC and Badge were both carrying niggles. This is Mckenzie spinning a web to make him out to be a hero when he is just resting players against our weakest opposition. Media G Up.

    • Patrick

      Folau doesn’t drink and has never so much as sneezed the wrong way – so no surprise there?? Ditto Hooper, Toomua…

      • Big Rig

        So we’ve Established he is a mormon.

        • Patrick


    • bazzar

      Folau is/was a Mormon, he doesn’t drink.

    • Rebel Rouser

      On an unrelated note, did you hear that we never really landed on the moon?

      • Jimmy

        Thats great i didnt say he was out boozing, merely this is all a little too convenient for me, and Bazzar i thought you were under the impression QC was out looting Laptops anyway…

        • bazzar

          no, I asked if he was.

    • Yangon Dave

      On other sites it states further that the players all went out in different groups for dinner on the Tuesday night before some chose to continue on at various pubs. If you look at the players that aren’t sanctioned they seem to represent who I’d imagine as groups within the squad.

      • Jimmy

        Yeah i did the rounds as well and as a Tahs supporter it was disappointing to see the bulk of them spare Folau and Hooper being reprimanded. As i said I agree with the rationale behind the punishments, the timing and execution on the other hand i don’t believe for a moment.

    • Gottsy

      i would have thought that a fair few of the blokes on the banned list would be in line for a start, giving the guys that have been starting a bit of a rest. (robinson, ryan, gill, tpn) when rules are put in place, then broken, consequences usually follow, or there’s no reason having them

    • the pirate

      Wow interesting conspiracy theory may have to file that with the one about Elvis being the shooter on the grassy knoll

    • brumby runner

      I said it above, and I’ll say it again. If anyone was to be rested from the Scotland game, most certainly it would have been one or more of the much worked forwards, like Moore, Slipper and Hooper. Certainly not the bench players who have had very limited game time on tour but who had generally performed well when they came on. Players like Robbo, TPN and Gill would have been the starters to give the ‘over-worked’ players a rest.

      Just have a quiet think about it.

  • RugbyStu

    Some of my favorite players fuck! Shit doesn’t ad up, fifteen players reprimanded and no reports or complaints of inappropriate behavior? Did they show up to training hung over? Whilst in some regard I can respect it, it also sounds like a bit of an overreaction (I would have thought for this reaction they must have broken the law or something) that will destroy the team morale he has built and will sabotage this weekend, Its looks like he’s cutting off his nose to spite his face.

    • brumby runner

      Rubbish. If they had broken a law, they would have been sent packing back home assuming they weren’t in custody. The sanctions and suspensions were completely appropriate to the behaviours imo.

  • Zed

    Does this mean they were all out having a laugh together? A show of unity among the team not seen in a while?

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      Actually no. Seems there was around 4 groups depending on where they wanted to head.

      For what it’s worth, I’m with Link on this one. Unless of course you don’t want to become the best Rugby team on the planet.

  • Campo’s love child

    Hallelujah – double thumbs up Ewen. Finally a coach willing to make the tough decisions for the long term betterment of the team!

  • Potatoe

    So they had a few drinks? Big Deal, whatvI want to know is http dowwhen did the Australian rugby community become such a bunch of pussies?

    • bazzar

      around the time we started paying them to perform.

      • Wakushi

        But they did perform, quite well. So what’s the big deal

        • Gottsy

          the big deal is that it shows contempt for the guidelines put in place by the coaching staff

    • notasthinkasyoudrunkiam

      No, the rest of the team had a few drinks. These blokes apparrently had a few more and then a few more and got back to the hotel at sparrowfart.
      These are professional, adult sportspeople – they shouldn’t need to be told you must be home at Xpm and only have a maximum of Y standard drinks. If their team and rugby is not the priority then there will be plenty of people lining up to take their jerseys.

  • RugbyStu

    The sanctioned players went out after the dinner and came home late after consuming ”inappropriate levels of alcohol”…seriously?? I really hope their is more to this or I believe we need to reintroduce the term “wowser” into Australian vocab again. I’m sure saint Mckenzie would only have consumed “appropriate levels of alcohol” on tour in Europe

  • bazzar

    Interesting tweet from AAC, we need a better indication of what “inappropriate levels of alcohol” means.

    • Patrick

      I think it means whatever the f*** link says it means. Also i think you mean Matt A-C’s tweet.

    • Train Without A Station

      I’d say it would be somewhere close to greater than four standard drinks, which the World Health Organization considers a binge and unhealthy level of even irregular consumption. Considering they are paid for athletic performance, somewhere close to a healthy level would be allowed I assume. That’s just speculating though.

    • le roo

      Hey i’m a bit new on the whole Twitter thing, but if someone called Matt sends a tweet, does that mean Adam sent it?

  • Wilson

    So what does the backline look like this weekend, If Kuridrani is suspended and Feauai-Sautia is at outside centre then wingers are Joe Tomane and Foley? Or does Foley play FB, Folau outside centre and Feauai-Sautia on the wing? Maybe Leali’fano at outside centre?

    • Gottsy

      that’s the real story. move folau to the wing, foley at full back and cfs at 13?lilo and harris on the bench? would be a good opportunity to give cfs and foley some game time

  • John’s No. 1 Fan

    heard TPN threw back a few shots of Jameson….

    only thing he threw straight all week.

  • Graeme

    We are going to be pretty raw on the wings. CFS to inside center and Bethan to replace Cummins? Leal and Foley on the bench to cover the entire backline. Better hope for no injuries on the weekend.

    • brumby runner

      Why would you replace Toomua at 12?

  • Ben

    And Ashley-Cooper immediately reacts by taking to Twitter. I would sit him down for an additional match for that. Sums up that whole mob. Does sound a “toxic environment”.

  • Pie Thrower

    Smoke and mirrors from Link. Just a good excuse to rest a few players against Scotland before the Wales game. Don’t want to disrespect the opposition to fire them up and have a repeat of Newcastle. Good work link.

    • notasthinkasyoudrunkiam

      ^ Moron.
      Most of the suspensions are bench players, the ones who are starters there are not ready replacements for them, especially with Toomua and Kuridrani out.

  • waiopehu oldboy

    If breaching team protocol(s) doesn’t have consequences then there’s no point in having them, & you can’t keep this sort of thing secret forever: sooner or later someone would’ve posted something on Facebook, Twitter or whatever. Had team management done nothing they’d stand accused of being “soft on the players like Deans”; kept it in-house & the charge would be “secretive like Deans”: they’ve reacted in the only way that makes any sense & doesn’t do any lasting damage to the team.

    Surprised & a little disappointed to see AAC named, as a senior player he should know better, but good to see QC not in any of the groups punished/ reprimanded, maybe he has got his off-field issues sorted.

    • Robson

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      Well said WOB.

      It’s well past time for players to know the rules of the Universe ‘actions have consequences’. I can’t believe that mates looking after mates didn’t see them all home before turning into a pumpkin. Simple stuff!

      Don’t worry about AAC. His Mum is in there busily sorting it out for him.

  • Southerner

    I can’t add much too original to what’s been said but this is a terrible setback for Link. The Scots will be lying in wait, better for their run against SA and now the Wallabies have limited options. Meanwhile Wales remains the big hurdle. What I want to know is what is Mowen saying to his charges?

  • AndyLev

    Were they to be restednot -played against Scotland anyway.. shouldn’t he have banned them against Ireland…

    • brumby runner

      I don’t buy this. If anyone was to be rested from the Scotland game, most certainly it would have been one or more of the much worked forwards, like Moore, Slipper and Hooper. Certainly not the bench players who have had very limited game time on tour but who had generally performed well when they came on. Players like Robbo, TPN and Gill would have been the starters to give the ‘over-worked’ players a rest.

  • Robson

    Aspiring to being the best in the world is a 24/7 commitment to yourself, your team, your coach, your supporters and your country. When you have players who can’t, or won’t, make that commitment, your team will never get there. Link’s actions are right in absolutely every detail.

  • Mickey

    Quiz time everyone. Ready?

    Q1. In the lead up to how many test matches this year have we read about inappropriate behaviour by members of the Wallaby squad?

    Q2. Which number is higher? Total number of Wallaby wins this year or total number of Wallabies issued suspensions?

    Q3. Name the player leadership group within the Wallaby squad? What role does this group play?

    Q4. Given this was not just 1 or 2 individuals, why did such a large group of players feel the need to defy outlined team rules?

    Q5. Any correlation to the higher representation of Tahs players and the fact that franchise have won sweet FA in the past 15 years?

    Q6. The mood of this guilty group when they have to face VC Quade Cooper to explain their ill discipline?

    Q7. Feel Australian sport moving in the right direction?

    • Chouza

      But there weren’t any outlined team rules…

      • Mickey

        Sorry. Outlined team protocol.

  • Gottsy

    FFS this is all we need! Unfortunately I have to agree with the suspensions and warnings, a winning culture has to be established, getting smashed on a school night probably isn’t the best thing to be doing

  • Old_Laurentian

    There are only three Aussie players in the Planet Rugby ‘international team of the week’ – Moore, Slipper and Cooper. None of them apparently needed a talking to by Link. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • Higgers

      And absolutely NO Rebels players were spoken to either. Coincidence? Or conspiracy? You be the judge

  • MM

    Its pathetic wowserism. If a bunch of young blokes (with no previous history of trouble making) on an official night off, with no training day the following day can’t go out an enjoy themselves with a bit of a night on the town what the fcuk is the world coming to!

  • Cutter

    I had a mate chosen in the Australian swimming squad about 18 months out from the 2000 Olympics. Don Talbot got the whole group into a room and said something along the lines of: “If you think you can be a normal person and do what your friends do, if you think you can be here and not make sacrifices that make you seem strange to everyone you know, if you think you can let go of your discipline at any time prior to the Olympics, leave the room now.”

  • Nedrick

    So this was last week. Let’s look at the players who played the house down against Ireland. Stephen Moore, Quade Cooper and Michael Hooper. Three players who weren’t out writing themselves off mid week.

    It really upsets me that these guys are being paid so much money to be athletes yet they still go out drinking until ridiculous hours. They always focus on getting that extra percent in everything they do to edge out the opposition, but how many percent are they losing by doing this?

    Look at the Brumbies – very nearly won the Super 15 and they had a no drinking culture. Look at Sonny Bill – an absolute freak of an athlete. Doesn’t drink.

    Great work Link.

  • John O’Neill

    Whistle up Digby Ioane, Kurtley Beale and James O’Connor as back-up replacements. Oh, hang on a minute…..

  • Charlie

    15 players involved – that is half the squad! Hardly a small faction of guys who organised a night out. With that many involved, the whole squad must have at least known about this. How can half choose to get involved and half chose not to? Just highlights the weak leadership group within this whole set-up. And we wonder why they cave in whenever they are in any sort of contest.

  • Jimmy

    Has anyone read the reactions from some of the guys who are not in the squad (but who still obviously have friends who are).

    Sounds like there could be some real issues within the team over what some players have been allowed to get away with and what some get punished for. This is probably the most concerning aspect.

    • Brackets

      Can you point me to where I can read them? Would be very interesting.

      • Jimmy

        Check Drew Mitchells twitter feed – given his relationship with many of the senior players (and his insight into their thoughts) I reckon it’s damn concerning.

      • Jimmy

        Drew Mitchell ‏@drew_mitchell13h
        The saddest thing is that some players think drinking a few beers is worse for the culture than texting shit behind their teammates backs

  • GD

    Being a Cantabrian I’m not the biggest Qld fan but I think McKenzie has done the right thing. He set rules, they broke them, there are consequences. These are grown men and well paid employees, not toddlers. The other thing is the Qld’ers made such a big deal about how lapse Deans was McKenzie has no choice but to come down hard on offenders. A bit of discipline in a footy team is not going to hurt and I applaud McKenzie for taking a tough decision – it shows he is out to win the war, not individual battles.

    • Klaus

      GD its strange you being a Cantabrian you aren’t a QLD fan, I always thought the two clubs were reasonably close since the 1970’s. I am not taking the piss either.

  • JKB

    I think Link and the Wallabies are aspiring to be the best team in the world. To achieve this you need to aspire to be the best at all facets of the game. The fittest, strongest, fastest, smartest and the most professional. He is not stupid. He knows that without the strongest possible work ethic and team culture the rest will falter. Seems harsh but he is thinking of the big picture. Gutted about Gill though. No one seems to see that Hooper is having very little impact at the breakdown.

    • Klaus

      I do and so do many others not the media though. He doesn’t seem to go for the ball just the player trying for the penalty rather than a turnover. He would be the worlds best 6 if he was 4 inches taller and heavier. Anyone could have scored those tries on the weekend the work was done.

  • Gottsy

    On a more positive note, there were six other wallabies making headlines in Ireland over the weekend that have unfortunately been overshadowed by this. Mark Ella, George Gregan, Ken Catchpole, David Campese, Thomas Lawton and John Thornett were just inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in Dublin. Here’s hoping that just a little bit more press can be directed to these guys instead of the other ‘Dublin 6′

  • SuckerForRed

    “The level of punishment has been determined by the severity of the infraction for each individual and was also based on the expectations of players preparing for the Ireland Test as part of the 23-man match day squad.”

    I would also take a stab in the dark that the different levels, i.e. verbal, written & suspension, may indicate that that is the process so perhaps the suspended boys have misbahaved in the recent past.

    I for one an severly disappointed & pissed off. They are damned luck I am not there other wise the six of them would not be able to sit to watch the game this weekend.

  • vanessa

    Rugby is not so important that players should not be afforded the chance to let their hair down once in a while. it doesn’t seem strict protocols are in place ie a definitive curfew so if the question is player discretion than what is the problem…. we hammered Ireland 4 dyas later… perhaps it should be compulsory to go out on a tuesday before a saturday game!

  • Triton

    Thank you boys. Now I don’t have to get up early Sunday morning. If you’re not taking your team seriously why should I?

  • Jack

    How’s AAC’s family firing up in the media..?? Mum gets a run on the TV news and brother quoted here above. Take it on the chin guys your boy stepped out of line. He’ll know for next time where the boundary lies. It seems obvious to me that someone lucky enough to be paid (very well I might add) to represent their country in such a physically demanding sport as rugby union, should know not to hit the piss a few days out from a major test. Link has done the right thing here – End of.

  • Langthorne

    If the ‘team protocols’ were so clear, why were there so many players warned/sanctioned?

    They played well. One of the best performances this year, so it is not a question of having done something that impaired their ability to play.

    What a shame something so inoccuous is deemed so important.

    No need to make it a public event, whether or not suspensions are in order.

  • Bfc

    Drew Mitchell (a perennial underachiever?) should put up or shut up…who is he alleging is informing on his teammates? Seriously, the Wannabes have been underachieving for too long and the culture must change. If the coach had made it clear about standards and protocols, and players breached such….then suck it up and cop the penalty. The team is there to win, it is not a social tour…and the players are being well remunerated for five weeks of their time.
    If the ARU serious wants the culture to change then they had to act. Doing nothing would allow such behaviours to remain ‘acceptable’ and they are not.

    • notasthinkasyoudrunkiam

      Drew’s butthurt that his BFF AAC was caught up in it.

  • Colonel Klinc

    Is it just me, or has Link lost the plot with sending so many to the Cooler. Here we all are bagging the Gen Ys for their selfishness, mobile phone addicted, “us versus them” mentality. But now, we have 15 guys (yes 15, an entire team) going out mid week before a day off, bonding (as they should) in the tried and tested rugby fashion. They then come out and thrash their opponents on the weekend. Pray tell…where is the crime.

    Isn’t this what the Wallabies have been missing? The mateship, the team bonding, the skulling, the singing, the nudity…Instead of being happy his team is getting together he upsets some with a ridiculous mass ban and talk of a contiki tour. I worry that a head coach pulling a stunt like this may well promote further disunity rather than have the desired affect.


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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