Rugby

Beale to stick with Wallabies

2014-07-21 07:30
Kurtley Beale (Getty)

Sydney - Australia coach Ewen McKenzie is confident Kurtley Beale will resist the lure of a lucrative switch to a European club or rugby league when his contract is up at the end of the year.

Beale has revived his career with the Waratahs this season after a miserable time at the Melbourne Rebels, which reached a nadir when he punched two team mates after a Super Rugby match in Durban.

Back in his home city and having had counselling for alcohol-related problems, the versatile back has enjoyed a superb season with the Waratahs, who meet the Brumbies in the Super Rugby semi-finals on Saturday.

That has attracted the attention of local rugby league clubs - Beale played the 13-man code when growing up - and cash-rich European and Japanese clubs but McKenzie believes ongoing talks over a new deal will bear fruit.

"I don't have any fears or concerns about that, I'm sure we'll get an outcome," he told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

"I'm not in the direct negotiations but I'm confident we'll get an outcome.

"He looks like he's enjoying his football, the guy is pretty positive and he's making a difference, so that's a good scenario.

"That positivity hopefully turns into a contract."

Beale has spent the season at the Waratahs playing at inside centre, alternating with fellow Wallaby Bernard Foley in the role of first receiver, but has made no secret of the fact he would like to start in the Wallabies number 10 shirt.

McKenzie, who gave Beale his first start in Super Rugby with the Waratahs as a teenage flyhalf in 2007, said he did consider Beale a playmaker but starting positions needed to be earned.

"I know he wants to be the starting number 10, he told me that from the start, that's good," he said.

"He's in the 23, we put him on at inside centre a couple of times against France. I've already nailed my colours to the mast with that squad, we picked a couple of 10s and he was one of them.

"It comes down to form, but he's certainly in the mix."

Beale's resurgence this season has received even more attention because of how well he has combined with fullback Israel Folau, undoubtedly McKenzie's biggest weapon in his bid to win the World Cup in England next year.

Folau is contracted to the Australian Rugby Union until the end of 2015 and, despite frequent stories linking him with a return to rugby league, McKenzie believes he too will stay in union beyond that.

"I get no indication from him or the people around him that he's looking to change course, he's really enjoying it," he said.

"I understand how he ticks, how he's set up family wise. There's always going to be opportunities around, in the end you have to say to yourself, 'Do I need to need to change, or is my life all right?'

"The grass always looks greener on the other side but if you go you've got to make sure you're enjoying yourself. All I see is a smiling face and a guy that's setting records."

Read more on:    wallabies  |  kurtley beale  |  rugby
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