MICHAEL CHEIKA's reign as Australia coach looks increasing frail after it was revealed two of his players have been ruled out of the clash with England at Twickenham for bringing women back to their hotel.
Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper have 200 caps between them for the Wallabies but broke team protocol in after the 9-6 defeat to Wales in Cardiff.
Reuters3 Beale had been expected to start at Twickenham
Among the three women was Ashley-Cooper's sister-in-law, while the other visitors are understood to be her friends.
They did leave the Newport hotel by 10:30pm but guests are prohibited from being in players' rooms.
Both Beale and Ashley-Cooper were involved in the 27-7 win over Italy a week later, with Cheika only learning of the breach nine days after the incident.
Neither player were included in the matchday 23 for the clash with Eddie Jones' men on Saturday, with Beale's omission a particular surprise as Bernard Foley was retained at centre.
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Getty Images – Getty3 Ashley-Cooper has won 117 caps for his country
And it has now emerged that the reason for the duo being stood-down was linked to their actions off the field.
The embarrassing episode comes amid increasing pressure on Cheika, whose role as Australian coach is hanging by a thread.
Cheika's two-time world champions finished third in the Rugby Championship, winning just two of their six matches.
Some reporters have led the calls for Cheika to lose his job, and news he has lost control of two senior players is likely to alert the Australian Rugby Union.
Reuters3 Cheika's position as Australia head coach is hanging by a thread