Super Rugby player Kurtley Beale has been nominated for Frownlow honours for the third time in his career after being accused of sexual assault.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Manase Fainu is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Beale was recently granted bail after being charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Bondi in December 2022. He faces four charges, including sexual intercourse without consent, inciting another to sexually touch without consent and two counts of sexually touching another person without consent.
The former Rebels player was ordered to surrender his passport, not contact witnesses and to report to police daily. He is due back in court in March.
This is Beale’s third nomination for Frownlow honours.
In 2018 he was in contention for the hall of fame, and a year later for the medal when he was playing Super Rugby in Australia. He earned those nominations for sending offensive texts to a Wallabies team official, and was fined $45,000, as well as for being sent home from South Africa for punching a Rebels teammate. In addition, he was suspended again by the Rebels for poor discipline, sought counselling for alcohol issues and appeared in a video in which a man snorts cocaine.
The talented back was also welcomed into the Wallabies squad to prepare for the upcoming World Cup, but may have disqualified himself from this tournament. He had just returned to Australia to play again for the NSW Waratahs and to make another attempt to be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
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