Beale tempted by huge Wasps offer
Sydney - Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has
admitted it will be hard to keep hold of Wallabies back Kurtley Beale after
London Wasps offered him a big-money deal, a report said on Friday.
Australian newspapers said Beale was
understood to be close to signing a two-year deal worth $2.0 million with Wasps
that would begin at the end of this year's Super Rugby season.
It is an offer the Waratahs and the
Australian Rugby Union concede they cannot match.
"We're keen to keep Kurtley here, it's
going to be difficult for him. That's a huge sum of money," Gibson told
the Sydney Morning Herald.
Reports said Beale, 27, who has been in
fine form for the Waratahs this season, could become the highest-paid player in
the English Premiership if he accepts the deal.
Under new ARU eligibility rules, players
with 60 Tests or more can be selected for the Wallabies from offshore clubs,
meaning Beale can have the best of both worlds: the money from playing overseas
and international caps.
"We want our best players playing in
our competition and for the Waratahs, that's going to be an on-going
problem," Gibson said.
"The 60-game threshold will hurt the
Waratahs more than it will hurt Australia because Kurtley is still available to
Australia, he won't be available to the Waratahs."
Gibson, who took over from Wallabies coach
Michael Cheika at the Waratahs, said it could become "the norm" for
Australia's best players to be poached for large sums of money.
"I think rich European clubs coming
here and picking off our biggest talent, it's going to probably become more the
norm than not," he said.
"I don't think we're quite at that
tipping point yet, but certainly it's going to be a big issue for Australian
Australia has already lost several
high-profile players to European clubs, including Matt Giteau (Toulon), Will
Genia (Stade Francais) and Adam Ashley-Cooper (Bordeaux).