New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has criticised the Melbourne Rebels over their handling of Kurtley Beale.
The Australia international, who has endured a troubled campaign marred by alcohol-related incidents off the field, was recently told that he will not be offered a new contract with the Super 15 outfit.
However, Cheika has accused the Rebels of using Beale's personal problems as a means of disguising his decision to reject a new deal with the club.
"I noticed that [statement] come out from Melbourne. I think that's a little bit disappointing to be honest that they'd put that out because their captain was out saying a couple of days before saying 'we want him to stay here and [that] we could play with him no drama,'" PA quotes Cheika as saying.
"So maybe the fact that that they didn't get him, they put that out to go against the bloke to make him look like he's no good - and I think that that's really bad karma. You shouldn't be doing that to make yourself look good. Go for the player and, if he comes to you, that's great. If he doesn't, move on.
"You don't have to try and get him in the public eye. That wasn't necessary from Melbourne. I think it's very different to the situation with James O'Connor. They're trying to turn ... I don't know, they're not telling the truth."
Beale is now expected to rejoin Waratahs for the 2014 season.