Rugby: Vuna to only miss one game for Beale clash

Cooper Vuna. Photo / Getty Images
Cooper Vuna. Photo / Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels winger Cooper Vuna will only miss one Super Rugby game for his role in the post-match fight between teammates while Wallabies star Kurtley Beale may find out his fate on Thursday.

Vuna and Beale were sent home in disgrace from South Africa, missing their clash with the Cheetahs on the weekend.

Following their 64-7 loss to the Sharks in Durban and a team outing to a nightclub, Beale punched captain Gareth Delve and when Vuna intervened they traded blows.

Vuna then tweeted about the incident, calling Beale a "grub" in another breach of team protocol.

The Rebels announced on Wednesday night after a hearing that Vuna would be available for their game against the Western Force in 10 days time, taking into account his previous good behaviour and community work.

Vuna has been banned from using social media.

The club and Australian Rugby Union inquiry into Beale's actions is continuing with a resolution likely on Thursday.

He may face a lengthy suspension or even have his contract terminated.

After the hearing, Vuna apologised for the embarrassment he caused the club.

"During my time with the Melbourne Rebels I have turned my life around," he said in a statement.

"The outcome of this incident in Durban is not consistent with the values of my family, my church and my football club."

Vuna, a father of two, has been on a self-imposed alcohol ban for the last six months and dropped 10kg in the process.

The rugby league convert is trying to add to his two Test caps earned last year.

Meanwhile, Delve says he would have no trouble playing alongside wayward Wallaby star Beale despite the punch.

"I'm a professional rugby player - for the most part my relationship with Kurtley has been excellent," Delve said.

"It's not something I can't get past."

The Rebels are attempting to put the crisis behind them as they prepare to face the in-form Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend.

The Cheetahs are returning from their most successful Australasian tour after victories over NSW Waratahs, Highlanders and the Force.

Delve said the players would be out to try to repair some of the damage from both the crashing defeat and the brawl.

He said they needed to make it up to the coaching staff and Melbourne fans.

"We've got a great opportunity to come out this week to turn things around and to put things right," Delve said.

"We owe everyone a big performance this week."

Coach Damien Hill is set to ring the changes following the Durban game, where the Rebels finished with the sorry tally of 19 turnovers and 31 missed tackles.

Richard Kingi is set to start on the wing in place of Vuna while prop Paul Alo-Emile will start ahead of Laurie Weeks.

Rookie Jordy Reid will also get his first start, replacing Scott Fuglistaller.

Wallabies backrower Scott Higginbotham has been cleared of any shoulder damage while centre Mitch Inman is on the mend after a stomach bug.

- AAP

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