Australia drop Ashley-Cooper and Beale for bringing women into hotel room

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Australia coach Michael Cheika insists the breach of discipline that led to Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale being dropped for Saturday's Test against England was only a minor one, but nevertheless worthy of sanction.

Cannon said Scott Johnson, now Scotland director of rugby, was his favoured candidate to coach the Wallabies should the board decide Cheika must go.

"Some might consider it a bit too harsh, the leaders showed a lot of courage coming to me to point it out because they want to set a standard here".

But Cheika hailed the decision to ditch Beale and Ashley-Cooper as proof of the his team's resolve, even though he played down their offences against the team code by saying they were comparable to "not being on curfew or late for training".

Australia's leadership group discussed the issue in the lead-up to the Italy Test before bringing it to Cheika on Tuesday, who decided a one-match suspension was appropriate but that it would be dealt with inside team walls.


"Some of the skill levels of some of the really good players in the Australian side have started to fail and they're making uncharacteristic mistakes but I can clearly see they are playing with an anxiety and fear".

Beale and Ashley-Cooper have 83 and 117 caps respectively and Hooper said approaching Cheika about the situation was one of the most hard moments of his captaincy.

"Whatever that is - changing the coach, appointing a former Wallaby as a chairman of selectors on a panel, appointing new assistants - take a bit from each of the successful teams in the world and implement that".

The outstanding back-rower has been named in the national team to face England this Sunday morning (AEDT) at Twickenham despite having not fully trained this week.

"He wanted another day, which obviously you'll afford to a guy like him because he knows his body better than anyone and had prepared better than anyone - but he couldn't overcome it".


Believing that although Cheika would probably keep his role ahead of the Rugby World Cup, Cannon said his power should be reined in and an independent selector needed to be appointed to help arrest the slide.

"We have got to be that way, take it in to next season we've got a couple of days now to digest and look forward to next year to build, and we are going to have to take this tough lesson and move on".

"They are the small things we need to clamp down on".

'We are down to seventh in the world after starting at No 3. Where they said that about us.

Castle expects any review to be complete by Christmas, with 2019 well and truly bedded down by the end of the year.


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