Rugby Australia have another mess on their hands as it’s been reported that the Australian Men’s 7s team misbehaved at the Olympics and when on a flight. This follows three Wallabies players getting in trouble for breaking a drinking curfew.
A statement released today explained that at the request of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), Rugby Australia has undertaken an internal investigation regarding the behaviour of the Men’s Rugby Sevens team whilst in the Olympic village and on their return flight home.
The Rugby Australia Integrity Unit found that the Men’s Rugby Sevens team left one apartment in a messy, unacceptable state in the Olympic Village and that there was some damage to beds.
A common area in the apartment, used as a team meeting room and physiotherapy space, also had some scuff-type marks on the walls. This was not acceptable and the AOC will be fully reimbursed for the damage to the beds and the marks on the walls.
Additionally, the investigation found that a number of members of the team were drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on JAL 51, while also being disruptive to cabin crew and other passengers onboard the flight. There is no evidence that any JAL property was damaged or mess in seats, aisles or bathrooms was made by the Men’s Rugby Sevens team.
All members of Men’s Rugby Sevens team have been reprimanded for this behaviour. They have also been formally warned about their future conduct. Certain team members will also undergo education and counselling sessions regarding behaviour and alcohol consumption.
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Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “This behaviour is entirely unacceptable and not befitting any athlete who represents Australia or aspires to do so.
“Whilst we acknowledge the disappointment experienced through their Olympic campaign as well as the challenging environment all athletes have had to deal with since the start of the pandemic, this is not an excuse for this behaviour.
“Rugby Australia has a zero-tolerance approach towards poor behaviour and expects the highest standards of conduct at all times. It is without doubt that this will have a bearing on how we look at the Sevens environment going forward.
“We will continue to provide support to our players and management through our partners Benestar, as they currently work through their mandatory quarantine process.
“Rugby Australia and the Men’s Rugby Sevens team would like to extend their sincere apologies to Japan Airlines, the Australian Olympic Committee as well as all passengers aboard JAL 51. The apology is also extended to the host nation of Japan and its people for their hospitality and grace.
“The players have been reminded of what it means to represent your country and the behaviour expected at all times,” Marinos said.
This follows yesterday’s news that three Wallabies players were left out of the team to face the All Blacks due to a late-night drinking session.
Winger Marika Koroibete and forwards Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili were ruled unavailable for selection after breaching team protocol by continuing to consume alcohol more than two hours after curfew following a bonding session in Auckland last Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Wallabies team to face New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup opener this weekend has been selected.
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