No more boozy nights for Wallabies, star vows

ADRIAN WARREN
Last updated 02:59 05/02/2014
Adam Ashley-Cooper
Getty Images
ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER: "Now that there's clarity and there's actual guidelines around what we can and what we can't do, then I'm confident to say it will never happen again."

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Wallabies backline stalwart Adam Ashley-Cooper is confident there won't be any repetition of the late-night boozing incident that led to him and five other players being stood down from a Test during last year's Spring tour.

The 91-Test utility back was the most senior of the players suspended for a Test against Scotland last November, following the night out in Dublin in the leadup to the match against Ireland the previous week.

Ashley-Cooper, fellow back Nick Cummins and forwards Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan and Liam Gill were all suspended by coach Ewen McKenzie.

Nine other players received disciplinary warnings as McKenzie sought to to reinforce high cultural standards.

Ashley-Cooper 29 has always been regarded as one of the model citizens of the Wallabies and his mother took to the radio airwaves to defend his reputation.

Back at Waratahs training, Ashley-Cooper was philosophical about the incident which prevented him playing in all 15 Tests of Australia's gruelling 2013 schedule.

"I guess you've got to use any type of experience like that as a learning experience," Ashley-Cooper told AAP on Tuesday.

"Not only from a professional point of view, but from a life point of view as well.

"Now that there's clarity and there's actual guidelines around what we can and what we can't do, then I'm confident to say it will never happen again."

The versatile back spent most of last seasons Super Rugby campaign at outside centre while he alternated between that position and the wing for the Wallabies.

He wasn't sure where NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika would play him this season.

"With the mix of players this year, It's really hard to say where 'Cheik' wants me to play, but i suspect somewhere in that midfield, 12 or 13,": Ashley-Cooper said.

"But with the calibre of players and the different type of combinations that we can play with and experiment with, I wouldn't expect to be just limited to the midfield,

"I think I might have a little bit of experience in the back three as well."

He will have his first hitout of 2014 on Friday when he plays a half of the trial against the Blues in Sydney.

Ashley-Cooper said it would be hard to plan for the Blues rugby league convert Benji Marshall without having seen the New Zealander's rugby debut last week. "With the level of uncertainty and unpredictability he becomes quite a threat," Ashley-Cooper said.

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- AAP

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