Nick Cummins and Adam Ashley-Cooper Among 6 Australians Suspended for Drinking

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2013

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 16:  Wallabies head coach Ewen McKenzie looks on during the International match between Ireland and Australia at Aviva Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Six Wallabies have been suspended from Ewen McKenzie's squad for two of Australia's upcoming November Tests after it came to light that the players got the celebrations off to a boozy start before Saturday's win in Dublin.

McKenzie's men were evidently in high spirits after their confident 32-15 victory over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, with another nine players cautioned for consuming "inappropriate levels of alcohol" the Wednesday before the match.

The Telegraph's Jamie Pandaram confirmed the punishments on Twitter:

Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Liam Gill have all been suspended for the upcoming fixture against Scotland.

Paddy Ryan's one-game suspension has been pushed back so Australia will have enough props available for the Murrayfield encounter. He'll instead be absent for the trip to Cardiff the following week.

According to Sky Sports, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga'a, Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps were given written warnings, while Scott Fardy, Mike Harris, Ben McCalman and Nic White were also spoken to regarding the incident.

Per the report, McKenzie said:

Everyone in our squad is required to comply with and adhere to high standards of ethical conduct both on and off the field.

Those standards were compromised in the lead-up to Saturday's victory over Ireland with a group of players making the decision to stay out late and consume inappropriate levels of alcohol during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The Qantas Wallabies, in conjunction with the ARU, have decided to take significant action in a quest to drive the highest standards off the field.

Cummins and Ashley-Cooper will be particularly big misses against the Scots, having scored four tries between them in the last two matches. 

It's a strong sign of authority from McKenzie, who, despite being only a few months into his tenure as Wallabies head coach, doesn't appear intent on treading lightly around his players in terms of their discipline.

The latest alcohol-related indiscretion comes just six weeks after James O'Connor was prematurely released from his ARU contract after a string of controversies, detailed by The Telegraph's Gavin Mairs.

Australia are looking to rebuild their reputation as one of the best sides in not just the Southern Hemisphere but also the world, making it hard to disagree with the coach's latest disciplinary decision.