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.PT0M0S 620 349
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. 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."