Rugby news: Australia | Newcastle Falcons

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SUPER Rugby strugglers Melbourne Rebels will not have the services of Australia back Kurtley Beale for at least another three weeks as he works through a programme to deal with his alcohol-related issues, the club’s incoming CEO has said.

The Rebels are second-last in the 15-team southern hemisphere competition, with Beale on the sidelines after being stood down indefinitely for his part in a boozy punch-up with team mates last month.

Rob Clarke, who is set to replace the outgoing Steve Boland on an interim basis, poured cold water on fans’ hopes the versatile 24-year-old might be reinstated quickly.

“The programme in which Kurtley is involved has another three weeks to run, at which point a professional assessment of his situation will be made,” said Clarke.

Smith extends Wallabies stay

Former Australia flanker George Smith is in the frame to face the British and Irish Lions a second time after securing a contract extension with the ACT Brumbies that should pave the way for a recall to the Wallabies.

The 32-year-old, who has won 110 caps, was to head back to Japan after finishing his short-term Brumbies contract at the end of May, but his Tokyo-based club Suntory have allowed him to remain with the Canberra-based side until the end of the Super Rugby season.

“He’s been given the all-clear (by Suntory) to complete the rest of the season for us,” said a Brumbies team spokesman.

Smith’s brilliant form for

the Brumbies should be enough for the Australian Rugby Union to ignore their usual practice

of only allowing players based in Australia on long-term contracts to be eligible for selection.

Saull is latest Newcastle recruit

Newcastle continued their squad strengthening ahead of a possible Aviva Premiership return next season by signing Saracens flanker Andy Saull. The England Saxons forward has agreed a two-year deal, the Falcons announced on their official website.

Saull, 24, will join former Saracens colleagues Adam Powell and Noah Cato at Kingston Park. and he becomes their latest new recruit after Scotland international scrum-half Mike Blair and Harlequins fly-half Rory Clegg.

Meawnhile, Saracens have moved to sign prolific try-scorer Tim Streather from Championship club Nottingham.

The 24-year-old centre will join Saracens for the start of next season, the Aviva Premiership leaders announced yesterday.