Former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison was selected in the ACT Brumbies leadership group on Monday, just five days after completing an eight-month doping ban.
Harrison, who has returned to the Brumbies for the 2010 Super 14 season after more than six years away, was suspended after admitting to taking cocaine during his stint with English club Bath.
The 34-test veteran also admitted to shouting out “class A, it’s OK, everyone’s doing it” on the microphone of a bus heading to a party in London last year.
Harrison joins fellow returning Brumby Matt Giteau on the ACT leadership group of senior players, along with forwards Stephen Moore, Mitchell Chapman and 2009 captain Stephen Hoiles.
Harrison was also suspended for three weeks in 2005 after admitting he made a racial slur against South African Chumani Booi.
“I’ve made mistakes during my career, but the next 12 months is a chance for me to rectify my professional reputation,” Harrison said when he re-signed with the Brumbies in November.
At the time, Brumbies CEO Andrew Fagan described Harrison as “one of the great characters of world rugby” and said he remained one of the “club’s favourite sons.”
“His mistakes over time have been well documented, but he’s always faced up to them, taken responsibility for them and accepted the consequences,” Fagan said.
Australia fly half Giteau, who spent most of the last three years as the playmaker for the Perth-based Western Force, will compete with emerging players Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano for the Brumbies’ No. 10 jersey.
“I’m happy to play fly half, inside centre, fullback, wherever the team needs me,” Giteau said. “But whichever position I’m chosen [in] I’d like to stick there for the whole season, depending on form.” — Sapa-AP