Wobblies rapped for Rome-ing

Three Australian players have been disciplined by the ARU for breaking a curfew after last week’s Test against Italy.

The players, whose names have not been released, returned to the team’s Rome hotel between 3:30 and 5am on the Sunday morning . The team was due to depart for Dublin at 6:30am.

Team management discussed whether the thee offenders should be dropped from the touring squad but this was ultimately decided to be an unnecessary course of action.

“Nothing untoward happened in Italy,”coach John Connolly told Greg Growden of the Sydney Morning Herald.

“We told the team to go out after the Test match and have a good time in Rome, because it was one of the very few nights on the tour where they have been allowed to.

“A couple of them arrived back later than they should have. It is not a major issue. But we had a talk to them and told them not to do it again.”

To compound matters a senior players is said to have engaged in a heated argument with with a member of the coaching staff.

The incident is another in a series of late-night indiscretions by Wallaby players.

Mat Rogers’ alleged brawl outside an Edinburgh nightclub in 2004 started the ball rolling while various incidents have been reported involving boorish behaviour by Wallaby players at Australian nightclubs.

In July 2005 in Cape Town, Matt Henjack returned to Australia after he had thrown the contents of his drink at a patron of a nightclub, while Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor were each fined AUS$ 500 for their role in the incident.

In February 2006, also in the Mother City, NSW Waratahs’ wing Sailor was sent home after pushing a man to the ground and vomiting in a footpath outside a city nightclub.

Matt Dunning’s drunken altercation with a taxi door earlier this year prompted the Aussie team management to enforce stricter alcohol guidelines and harsh punishments for players who are found to have between a .02 and .05 blood-alcohol level after breath testing.

The Wallabies return to Edinburgh this week and Connolly said he would remind players about the importance of “staying away from trouble”.

“We’ve been talking to them all the way through the tour,” Connolly said. “Overall over the last five months, we have been pretty happy with their behaviour. Next year, we will review it again and tighten up some aspects, such as the possibility of curfews.

“We kept telling them that modern rugby is not the game it was five years ago. Certain behaviour which may have been acceptable then is not now. Nonetheless, I do not believe there is a disciplinary issue with this team.”