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Michael Cheika says he would break the bank for Kurtley Beale

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Are Waratahs on course for Super Rugby title?

With three rounds to go before the finals, the Waratahs are on course for their first Super Rugby title - if they're good enough.

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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika says he will crack open his personal "piggy bank" if star playmaker Kurtley Beale can't resolve a contracting impasse with the Australian Rugby Union.

Beale told Fairfax Media this week he would be forced to look at his options offshore and in rugby league as a result of a "cloudy" negotiation with the ARU over his future in Australian rugby.

Cheika said in a television interview he had no influence over Beale's dealings with the ARU, but would do whatever it took to keep his Test playmaker at the Waratahs next season.

Whatever necessary: Kurtley Beale will not be going anywhere if Cheika can do anything about it.

Whatever necessary: Kurtley Beale will not be going anywhere if Cheika can do anything about it. Photo: Getty Images

"I'm going to be breaking open my piggy bank if the ARU don't come up with the money, I'll tell you right now," Cheika told Fox Sports' Rugby HQ.

Under the ARU's new contracting system, the provinces take part in negotiations to re-sign top players and can only influence the process via third party deals.

"I really can't resolve it, I'm just trying to keep Kurtley motivated, which he has been, he's been brilliant this year, honestly," Cheika said.

"He's done everything I've asked him to and he's playing in a position that his body type doesn't normally play in, he's not a big unit, he's a little chicken. He's doing very well."

Beale has been in sparkling form for the Waratahs, who sit at second on the Super Rugby ladder with three matches to go in the regular season.

But at Test level, Beale was pinned behind his NSW playmaking partner Bernard Foley in the three-Test series against France, with Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie preferring to use his elusive running game in an impact role off the bench.

When Quade Cooper returns towards the back end of the Rugby Championship this year, it is unclear where Beale will stand in the pecking order.

"Maybe [he is struggling], but if it is, I think that's wonderful, because you don't want blokes being satisfied with being on the bench," Cheika said.

"I like his style because yes he's dirty if he's on the bench, but he's also a great team man and he's doing his job when he gets out there and he's encouraging his team mates to do well.

"If that was a guy that wasn't happy - even though he's frustrated not being a starter - if he's not happy he wouldn't be playing like that.

"I like it when blokes getting angry, about not being in the team or if I didn't pick them, because that means they want to play."
 

7 comments so far

  • Well said Michael Cheika. Exactly the sort of leadership Australian Rugby needs.

    Commenter
    Hutch
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 27, 2014, 8:00AM
    • You obviously don't know Michael Cheika very well.....he wouldn't risk 1 cent of his own money!!

      Commenter
      AndrewWA
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      June 27, 2014, 1:27PM
  • Um, isn't there a salary cap in Super Rugby? I can understand why Cheika would be desperate to keep Beale, but the Brumbies have lost their captain Mowen (and a Wallaby captain to boot) over 'cloudy' negotiations with the ARU. It's unfortunate for Australian rugby, to be sure, but it is part of the economic environment we operate in now... if the ARU can't find the cash for a top-up for the incumbent Wallaby captain, then a bench utility player like Beale was always going to struggle,

    I feel for NSW, but they have a star-studded side that leaves other provinces, even the Brumbies, shaking their heads as to how it all fits under the salary cap. I just hope the ARU don't make a special case and allow 'Tahs to circumvent the cap under a 'sweetheart' deal... I'm sure the Brumbies would have welcomed the same opportunity when they were trying to retain some of their stars - including local Peter Kimlin - but a cap is a cap.

    Commenter
    Rooster
    Location
    Canberra, ACT
    Date and time
    June 27, 2014, 11:46AM
    • A bit presumptuous from Ceika?? Remembering Beale is on the right path to redeem himself but its not yet a Year that has passed from him being an idiot with Cooper and what was that pretty boys name again who had his contract torn up by the ARU?? - James O'Conner????

      Commenter
      Justerini
      Location
      MLB
      Date and time
      June 27, 2014, 6:39PM
      • I find it somewhat humorous that Beale feels so entitled in the first place. Just last year he was axed from the Rebels and underwent rehabilitation for alcohol abuse. For such a great team player, he's certainly quick to turn on the only club that gave him another chance.

        Commenter
        Ted
        Date and time
        June 30, 2014, 5:13PM
    • Sorry, but I just can't see what all the fuss is about. Yes, he's a good player and can slot into any position if called upon, but KB/The Grinch is a 2nd rate fullback/centre and 3rd rate fly half, if the rest are fit. He's the kind of player who has a ton of natural ability but cannot seem to make his mind up what to do with it. Coaches see this talent every day on the practice pitch which is why Cheika loves him, but he isn't a game winner, yet.

      Commenter
      Ben
      Date and time
      June 29, 2014, 10:48PM
      • umm, a team man???
        Since when?
        Who's "wet nursing" him now?

        Commenter
        Budda
        Date and time
        June 30, 2014, 12:35PM

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