Beale was already facing disciplinary action over an in-flight argument with Wallabies business manager Di Patston during their Rugby Championship trip to Argentina.

But that incident has been overtaken by what ARU chief executive Bill Pulver claims were “inappropriate and deeply offensive text messages and images to a number of people in June, referencing an ARU staff member”, allegedly sent by Beale. 

The allegation is so serious a code of conduct tribunal will be led by District Court Judge Mark Williams and include Rugby Union Players’ Association rep. 

The investigation will run separately from the ARU integrity unit looking into the in-air incident on a flight from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo en route to Mendoza, where the Wallabies were beaten.

Beale has been made unavailable for selection for the Wallabies’ third Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks next Saturday.

The issues have heightened speculation Beale could seek a club overseas or a move to rugby league, where interest is reported. The 25-year-old is off contract with the ARU so would be free to move on if he wished.

Pulver said: “I really don’t want to prejudge that right now. Sufficient to say, this is deeply offensive material involved. Now we need to run a process where Kurtley has his opportunity to present his case.

He wouldn’t detail the texts and images but confirmed they got back to the staff member who was their subject. 

Patston, who was on coach Ewen McKenzie’s staff at the Queensland Reds and is now effectively his PA-cum-team manager for the Wallabies, is on indefinite sick leave. 

The plane argument was reportedly over a T-shirt.

Image via Getty