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Rebels stand down Beale, Vuna

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Sportal.co.nz     25 Mar 2013     Getty Images

The Wallabies pair will miss the Round 7 clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next Sunday morning (AEDT) and could face further sanction from the Australian Rugby Union upon their return.

Vuna made the incident public when he took to Twitter at 1.27am local time on Sunday morning: "I need to leave right now, this ain't for me! I tried to help someone but got punched so instead of putting him in hospital il [sic] leave!"

The former NRL player then identified Beale as the culprit in a second tweet, calling the Wallabies superstar a 'grub'.

Both tweets were deleted shortly after they were made public.

The incident couldn't have come at a worse time for Beale who is next month scheduled to attend mediation over an alleged assault of a Brisbane nightclub bouncer on last year.

Beale is already facing a possible sanction over that alleged altercation and any further ARU imposed suspension could cost the Wallabies playmaker the chance to face the British and Irish Lions in June-July.

The decision to fly Vuna and Beale home in disgrace followed an internal probe by team management.

"As a result of an internal investigation into the incident that took place on the Melbourne Rebels team bus Saturday night Durban time, Rebels players Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna have been stood down from the South African tour and will return to Australia immediately," the Rebels confirmed in a statement on Sunday evening.

"This disciplinary decision has been taken following an investigation conducted Sunday morning Durban time.

Coach Damien Hill confirmed both players had broken team protocols and will be unavailable for selection until the disciplinary process has been completed back in Australia.

"The club will not tolerate this type of behaviour and I am embarrassed for everyone associated with building this club," Hill said.

CEO Steven Boland confirmed he has kept ARU officials in the loop as both men are contracted to the national body as well as the Rebels.

"There can be no excuses for the disrespect shown to the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Club by these players," Boland said.

"The expectation of the club and our supporters is that the management and players in South Africa focus immediately on their task of making amends for the poor on field performance in Durban on Saturday by making us all proud in Bloemfontein next weekend."

It remains unclear whether alcohol was a factor while no external parties were involved.