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Wallabies given curfew
Australia's Matt Dunning and Lote Tuqiri put on midnight curfews.
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2007 11:20 GMT
Matt Dunning: Restricted off the field and on it as well [GALLO/GETTY]
The Australian Rugby Union have responded to their latest off field embarrassment by placing players Lote Tuqiri and Matt Dunning on midnight curfews for the World Cup and pre-tournament camps.
 
ARU chief executive John O'Neill was forced to announce the guidelines after the pair had gone on an all-night drinking session last weekend in Brisbane.
The duo, who aren't new to off field controversy, also received a formal warning.
 
O'Neill was particularly angered by the timing of the incident which occurred just after a five-day Wallaby camp.

The pair left a nightclub with a group of people, including a stranger who later allegedly assaulted a taxi driver outside the Wallaby team hotel.

Neither player was implicated in the assault.

"The ARU has made it abundantly clear to both players how disappointed we are that they put themselves in harm's way and that the warning they have been issued should not be taken lightly," O'Neill said.

The curfew applies only to Dunning and Tuqiri, and not the rest of the 28-man Wallaby squad, but is likely to draw criticism from the Australian rugby community with many believing the ARU is too soft on ill-discipline and that the pair should have been sacked.

Somerville becomes number 30

Meanwhile, Australia's trans-tasman rival New Zealand received a World Cup boost with prop Greg Somerville being included in the 30 man New Zealand squad.

 Greg Somerville (l) resumes his place
in the All Black front row [GALLO/GETTY]
New Zealand, who had announced a Cup squad of 29 players, had left the last place open for Somerville who was recovering from Achilles tendon and eye injuries.

The 55 test veteran had injured his tendon while playing against South Africa in August, 2006.

Since then he has only played a handful of matches, after his rehabilitation was delayed when he suffered a serious eye injury playing for his provincial club side Canterbury.

However after receiving extensive treatment he was passed fit for selection by an eye specialist who examined him.

"I'd like to congratulate Greg for his perseverance," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said.

"He has come back well from a couple of injuries and the way he handled setbacks during rehab shows the quality of the man."

Source:
Agencies
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