The task of ending a 35-year winning drought at Eden Park has got harder for the Wallabies after star winger Marika Koroibete was among three players banned from selection for breaching team drinking protocols.
John Eales medallist Koroibete, Pone Fa’amausili and Isi Naisarani won’t be considered for selection for this weekend’s opening Bledisloe Cup match in Auckland after drinking alcohol “well beyond an agreed time”.
It comes after Rugby Australia was forced to investigate reports of unruly behaviour by players from the Sevens team returning from the Tokyo Olympics.
The group had dinner and drinks at the team hotel last Saturday night after a full training week, prior to a training free day.
The players then breached team protocols by continuing to drink alcohol well beyond an agreed time.
There was no illegal behaviour, no damage and no complaints made. No further investigation will take place, or any further action.
“We are building a culture of working hard for each other and being accountable for our actions,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.
“On this occasion, these three players haven’t lived up to that and we’ve taken a very clear stance.
“Ultimately these three men have paid a big price for their decisions but that’s the standard we expect of each other.”
Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said it supported the action taken.
“As an organisation, we expect the highest standards at all times. While we also acknowledge that this is a minor incident, I applaud Dave and the team for taking such an open and transparent approach,” Marinos said.
The Wallabies have not won at Eden Park since 1986.