The Australian Rugby Union has confirmed the Wallabies’ staff member at the centre of the Kurtley Beale investigation has quit her role.
The Wallabies staff member at the centre of the Kurtley Beale investigation has quit her role with the Australian Rugby Union.
Wallabies business manager Di Patston resigned on Friday, a statement from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has confirmed.
Patston was thrust into the spotlight following an alleged midair confrontation with Beale during a flight to Argentina.
After the incident, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie abandoned a Wallabies training session in Buenos Aires to drive his distressed business manager to the airport so she could make an early dash home.
Patston had been on indefinite sick leave since.
In the ARU statement it was confirmed Patston had quit due to stress from the recent events.
Beale is facing the axe, not only over the alleged midair incident but also over allegations he circulated offensive text messages about Patston.
ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said Patston’s departure won’t have any impact on plans for Beale to face a Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“We maintain the text messages and images were of such an offensive nature that they deserve to be fully and independently investigated, and Kurtley deserves an opportunity to present his position, Pulver said.
“We are responding in a way that any organisation should by taking this matter seriously.”
A date for Beale’s hearing is still yet to be set, but is likely to be held in the week after the third Bledisloe Test on October 18.
Pulver said he was confident the Wallabies will not be distracted by the off-field issues going into the clash with the All Blacks.
“I have complete faith in our players that they will be focusing on the opportunity to play the number one team in the world next weekend,” he said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind they will be focused on the challenge ahead.”
Rumours have suggested McKenzie is in a relationship with Patston, who he previously worked with at the Queensland Reds and has since employed to tour with the Wallabies on the road.
It’s believed some players had become disillusioned by Patston’s role in the team and McKenzie’s reasons for hiring her.
McKenzie denied the claims on Friday, insisting his relationship with Patston has always been professional and therefore not compromising his position as coach.
“I’ve got a professional relationship with her. And I refute (suggestions of an intimate relationship). There are people out there and that there’s some sort of campaign to impugn that’s (not) the situation,” McKenzie said.