Wallaby newcomers Dane Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman are in the bad books after being involved in ugly alcohol-fuelled incidents during the Western Force’s recent trip to South Africa.
Veteran prop Pek Cowan has been stripped of the captaincy for Saturday night’s Super Rugby clash with the Stormers in Perth after being caught up in the drama, which reportedly involved a Force player urinating in the hallway of the team’s Bloemfontein hotel.
A vase was allegedly broken after a play fight between brothers Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty turned heated, while Coleman had a loud argument with prop Francois van Wyk.
A number of players broke the team’s 1:00am curfew, but the Force have opted against axing anyone.
Coleman will miss the game after failing to recover from the neck injury he suffered while on tour with the Wallabies.
The hotel drama caps a bad season for the Force, who sit bottom of the Australian conference with just two wins to their name.
Coach Michael Foley was axed in June following the disastrous run of results, while the Australian Rugby Union took the drastic measure of forming an alliance with the Force to prevent the Perth-based franchise going under.
Dane Haylett-Petty put in a man-of-the-match performance in last week’s 30-29 loss to the Cheetahs, scoring two tries.
It came just weeks after he and Coleman made their Wallaby debuts during the 3-0 series loss to England.
Cowan is one of the most-respected figures at the Force, and the foundation player was handed the captaincy duties once Matt Hodgson’s season was ended by a shoulder injury.
But the 30-year-old has been stripped of that honour this week after being part of the player group to misbehave during the trip to South Africa.
Dane Haylett-Petty would have been next in line to captain the side, but those duties will go to winger Luke Morahan, who announced on Thursday he had re-signed with the Force for another season.
Interim head coach David Wessels faces a monumental task to stabilise the side ahead of Saturday night’s home clash with the Stormers.
Although the Force have been able to sign Queensland Reds prop Ben Daley for the 2017 Super season, centre Kyle Godwin is rumoured to be on the move to the Brumbies.