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RugbyU: Beale returns to training after suspension

Wallaby back Kurtley Beale has returned to training with Super 15 side Melbourne Rebels after serving a suspension for punching two team-mates on his side's tour of South Africa. Beale was suspended indefinitely after punching Cooper Vuna and Rebels captain Gareth Delve following a nightclub outing after Melbourne's 64-7 loss to the Sharks in Durban on March 23. The 24-year-old has not appeared for the Rebels since breaking his hand in a defeat to the New South Wales Waratahs on March 1.

RugbyU: Australia's Reds seek Super sweep over Kiwis

The Queensland Reds will strive to extend Australian dominance over New Zealand teams in this season's Super 15 while the Waikato Chiefs take on the Coastal Sharks in a repeat of last year's final. Australia's Reds, the 2011 champions, host John Kirwan's Auckland Blues in Brisbane on Friday looking to complete a clean sweep over Kiwi opposition, a feat not yet achieved by the team in the professional era.

RugbyU: Lahiff to join Melbourne Rebels

London Irish prop Max Lahiff has agreed to join Melbourne Rebels at the end of the season. Lahiff has signed a two-year contract with Melbourne and he will join up with the Australian Super Rugby franchise in June. The 23-year-old, who qualifies to play for Australia through his father, joined the London Irish academy in 2009 and has made 59 first team appearances. "Max is a terrific player and a young man with great values," Irish rugby director Brian Smith said. "He will do well at the Rebels and may go on to play for the Wallabies.

RugbyU: Brumbies, Reds vie for top spot

Super 15 frontrunners ACT Brumbies take on the Queensland Reds and the Coastal Sharks go head to head with the Central Cheetahs on a weekend that could see the lead in all three conferences change hands. Defending champions Waikato Chiefs, who lead the New Zealand conference, are away to the New South Wales Waratahs and must win to keep at arm's length the Auckland Blues, who automatically receive four points from a weekend bye.

Beale in counselling for at least three more weeks - Rebels

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - 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, second-last in the 15-team southern hemisphere competition, have two wins from their eight matches as the season approaches the halfway mark, with Beale on the sidelines after being stood down indefinitely for his part in a boozy punch-up with team mates last month.

RugbyU: Rebels coach asked to re-apply for position

Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill has been asked to re-apply for his Super Rugby position with his contract up at the end of the season, the club said on Monday. Sweeping changes are under way at the struggling Australian Super Rugby club with the resignation on Monday of chief executive Steve Boland and the appointment of retired Rebels scrum-half Sam Cordingley to a newly-created role of rugby general manager. Boland will finish up at the end of this month after 18 months in the role following his elevation from deputy CEO.

RugbyU: Burgess back to Australia, eligible for World Cup

Former Wallabies scrum-half Luke Burgess is leaving French club Toulouse for Super 15's Melbourne Rebels, making him available for the next World Cup, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said Monday. Burgess has penned a two-year deal with the ARU which will take him through to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, and has also signed for the Rebels. The 29-year-old, who has 37 Test caps, will return home after the conclusion of the Top 14 competition in France where he has been playing for Toulouse since the 2011 World Cup.

RugbyU: Rebels stun Force

The Melbourne Rebels produced a stunning form reversal to beat the Western Force 30-23 in their Super 15 rugby clash in Perth on Saturday evening. The Rebels arrived in Perth a rabble, after a horror tour of South Africa. Thrashed 64-7 by the Sharks and 34-16 by the Cheetahs, the Rebels also endured off-field problems with two players sent home early, Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna, after a drunken altercation. However, they bounced back to notch their second win of the season, both coming against the hapless Force, who paid the price for a slow start.

Australia scrumhalf Phipps to leave Rebels for Waratahs

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia scrumhalf Nick Phipps is to leave the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise and return to Sydney to join the New South Wales Waratahs on a two-year contract next season, both sides said on Saturday. The 24-year-old Phipps is originally from Sydney but moved south to the Rebels when they began playing in the Super Rugby competition in 2011. "Nick has played a major part in laying the foundations of this club and it is disappointing to see him leave," Rebels coach Damien Hill said in a statement.

RugbyU: Wallaby half Phipps to leave Rebels for Waratahs

Wallabies scrumhalf Nick Phipps will leave the Melbourne Rebels to join the New South Wales Waratahs for the next two Super 15 seasons, the Waratahs said on Saturday. Phipps, 24, made his Test debut against Samoa in 2011 and has gone on to earn 12 caps, including starting in eight out of the Wallabies' last nine matches. "Nick is a good threatening, attacking player," Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said. "He's a quality player and I think that he's still got a lot of potential to fulfil. That makes for very good competition in the number nine position."
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