ARU issues fines to Western Force duo


Western Force duo Dane Haylett-Petty and Pek Cowan have been fined by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) following an incident at a Bloemfontein hotel.

During Force's trip to South Africa to face the Cheetahs in Super Rugby, the pair are alleged to have been involved in alcohol-related trouble - including accessing a team vehicle after an agreed curfew.

The incident happened after Force were beaten 30-29 at the Free State Stadium, the Australian side beaten by a late penalty from Fred Zeilinga despite scoring 19 unanswered points in the second half.

Force skipper Cowan and vice-captain Haylett-Petty have already been stripped of their leadership roles within the side, and now both have been $5,000AUD.

The ARU issued a statement saying: "Haylett-Petty will be served a breach notice for urinating in a public place while Cowan will be served a breach notice for gaining unauthorised access to a team vehicle after the team-agreed curfew of 1.00am."

ARU chief operating officer, Rob Clarke said: "The ARU integrity unit has reviewed the report provided by the Western Force on the events in South Africa last weekend and has determined that both Pek Cowan and Dane Haylett-Petty breached the code of conduct for separate and unrelated incidents at the team hotel in Bloemfontein.

"On Thursday the club took action against both players for breaching its leadership standards and we support this decision.

"Given there were breaches of the code of conduct by both players as detailed in the report from the Western Force, the ARU integrity unit will accordingly issue breach notices to the players in the coming days.

"Both players assisted the club and the ARU integrity unit in this investigation."