27 Jun 2013

Beale and O'Connor cleared by ARU after late-night photo

6:07 am on 27 June 2013

Australia backs Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor have been cleared of wrongdoing after being photographed in a fast food restaurant in Melbourne in the early hours of the morning, four days before the second test against the British and Irish Lions.

The UK's Daily Mail newspaper published the photo of the two players posing with fans at around 3.50 a.m. local time on its website on Wednesday.

Beale and O'Connor, who play for Super Rugby side the Melbourne Rebels, watched from the sidelines as the Lions beat their team 35-0 on Tuesday in the final midweek match of their tour.

Beale has only just returned to rugby after taking four months off following a string of alcohol-related incidents, including punching team mates on a bus in South Africa.

The statement added that after the match Beale and O'Connor went to a function at a club with Rebels team mates and some Lions players before stopping to pick up food on the way home, and both players are adamant that they didn't drink and have not broken any team protocols.

The Wallabies lost the first test 23-21 - the second test of the three-match series is in Melbourne on Saturday.