Waratah Tolu Latu booted from Wallabies camp

Rugby

Tolu Latu has some explaining to do, his NSW Waratahs coach says, after the hooker’s failure to inform the Super Rugby club of an alleged drink driving offence that could ruin his World Cup aspirations.

Latu has been banished from the Wallabies’ Brisbane training camp, instead set to meet with Rugby Australia’s Integrity Unit on Monday after reports in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday alleged he was found asleep behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol level of 0.135 last Thursday.

Police will allege he was also driving on a suspended licence and will front Downing Centre Local Court on June 6.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said he wasn’t aware of the incident until the media outlet contacted him at “lunchtime” on Saturday, just hours before they were due to play the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

Without a reserve hooker Gibson had no choice but to include the Wallabies contender in his squad, once cleared to do so by Rugby Australia and SANZAAR.

Latu came on midway through the second half and had a hand in several key moments as the visitors prevailed 40-32.

But his immediate future at the Super Rugby club, and any chance of featuring at the World Cup later this year, will be up for discussion in Sydney on Monday.

“I’m sure there’s a number of things that he’d need to say to the team,” Gibson said.

“(I was) pretty disappointed to only learn of it so close to the game … having that information earlier would’ve made a far better, considered decision.

“That’s all stuff that was out of our control.”

Capped 12 times, Latu has a history of on-field ill-discipline and was only just coming back from a six-week suspension for charging into a ruck in round two.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika isn’t short on hooking options for the Japan showpiece either.

Folau Fainga’a has been one of the ACT Brumbies’ standouts, while veteran Tatafu Polota-Nau remains in the frame and Melbourne Rebels young gun Jordan Uelese is back from a long-term knee injury.

Rebels hooker Anaru Rangi has also impressed this season, as has Alex Mafi after leapfrogging fringe Wallaby Brandon Paenga-Amosa for a starting berth at the Queensland Reds.

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