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Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie keen for Kurtley Beale to quickly sort his playing future

Feeling good: Kurtley Beale and his Waratahs teammates celebrate their Super Rugby triumph.

Feeling good: Kurtley Beale and his Waratahs teammates celebrate their Super Rugby triumph. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has encouraged off-contract playmaker Kurtley Beale to finalise his playing future sooner rather than later. 

McKenzie added his voice to hopeful comments made by Waratahs coach Michael Cheika that Beale would recommit to rugby within a fortnight. 

Deadly combination: Beale credits his improved form to a greater understanding with Bernard Foley.

Deadly combination: Beale credits his improved form to a greater understanding with Bernard Foley. Photo: Getty Images

The Wallabies coach said he was not concerned about the drawn-out negotiations between Beale and the Australian Rugby Union but said there was a lot the incumbent Test No.10 might gain by making a decision soon.

"The negotiations with Kurtley have been going on since around May and it's a fairly standard process, really," he said. 

"I'm not expecting there to be issues there and I guess a speedier resolution just takes out a distraction for him personally, but it's not something we're getting bogged down with in the day-to-day."

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Team of the 2014 Rugby Championship - Round Two

Paul Cully picks the best XV from the second round of the 2014 Rugby Championship. Photo: Getty Images

Cheika said on Tuesday that while he wasn't taking anything for granted, he was reasonably confident of re-signing Beale for another season. 

"It looks like it's going better, so hopefully something's going to happen there in the next week or two," he said. 

"It's being done with the Australian Rugby Union but I'm hearing it more from Kurtley's side, so hopefully it will all work out." 

Beale, with 43 Test caps to his name and a Super Rugby title, has reportedly attracted interest from NRL clubs including the Bulldogs.

He also expressed some frustration back in June about his place in the Wallabies. But a title-winning finals campaign with the Waratahs and two starts in the Test No.10 jersey since then had him making much more positive noises about his future. 

Beale attributed his frustrations to doubt.  He said he had benefited from working hard with fellow playmaker Bernard Foley to help take the Waratahs to the top of Super Rugby. 

Cheika said it was clear Beale was happy in rugby. And while his continued presence at No.10 is under a cloud after the Wallabies' 51-20 humiliation at the hands of the All Blacks last weekend, the NSW coach said he was not worried about Beale's reaction. 

"He loves rugby. You can't be reactive to every result," Cheika said.

"He's obviously not happy after the weekend, so he wants to play the best football he can every week. 

"It wasn't handy on the weekend for anyone but I don't think that's going to have an effect on anything, no."

The NSW coach, speaking at the Waratahs' end of season awards night in Pyrmont on Tuesday, said he was concerned for a while that Beale and the ARU would not come to an agreement over his future.

The union's new contracting system means, for the top 28 or 30 players in Australia, the ARU negotiates directly with them in a process that effectively shuts the province out of the process.

"Because I've been out of it, I haven't been involved in the recruitment process. It's not been that easy to get a read," Cheika said.

"There was a point there where they were talking about league and there was some serious interest, and there probably still is, but I like to think what we've done here over the season but also the last two months [will help]. 

"He really came to the fore over the last two months, got his game really motoring. You could even see the scores in the [Matt Burke Cup voting], he really came home strongly. 

"You'd like to think that good feeling he's got will carry into another season. Obviously there's the opportunity for a world cup at the end of next year, which is very hard to resist. 

"I'm not taking it for granted, because it never is until it's signed, sealed and delivered. But I'm a lot more positive now than I was a month or so ago. I would like it to get done."

10 comments so far

  • As I've made mention here before... hey, do what serves you best KB.
    If you want to stay in Rugby that would be fantastic, as the Tahs, and Wallaby could use your talents. But if not...see ya.
    Further, I hope you don't forget that when you were down and out it was 'who' that gave you a helping hand... mmmm ?
    Therefore, your final decision won't be solely based on how much of the filthy lucre is at hand.... it's about balance KB, and I'm sure you've probably worked that out by now.
    Good luck.

    Commenter
    Machooka
    Location
    inner west sydney
    Date and time
    August 27, 2014, 10:52AM
    • Play him at 12 for the Wallabies as well. He's much better wider of the ruck.

      Commenter
      PRA
      Date and time
      August 27, 2014, 12:53PM
      • Good idea....if we want to keep losing. Great in attack, awful in defence, as shown by his woeful efforts last Saturday on the wing. Good luck with big centres running at him. Bench or wing at best.

        Commenter
        Megalania
        Date and time
        August 27, 2014, 8:08PM
    • he is doing McKenzie no favors

      Commenter
      dave 2
      Location
      cheap seats
      Date and time
      August 27, 2014, 1:24PM
      • All the rumours about league was always only about getting a better deal from the ARU.

        Commenter
        Bushranger
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        August 27, 2014, 1:49PM
        • Apart from the ability of the ARU to use him in some advertising I'm not sure he'd be missed that much.

          Commenter
          Masher
          Date and time
          August 27, 2014, 2:17PM
          • Can we please talk about someone other than Kurtley Beale?

            Commenter
            Jack
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            August 27, 2014, 3:40PM
            • KB needs to decide if his heart is in Union. If it is stay. If not go to NRL. No one can play if they are not 100% committed. Move on. Holding Union over a barrel is not enduring you to the public.

              Commenter
              honeypie28
              Location
              Sydney
              Date and time
              August 27, 2014, 5:20PM
              • He's so overrated! What has he actually contributed to Australian Rugby?
                Foley is the one who stepped up when it mattered in key moments during Super Rugby. Let him go to league or overseas.

                Commenter
                lambchop
                Date and time
                August 27, 2014, 5:23PM
                • How the hell can someone who cannot tackle go and play league?.
                  Even if he plays at inside he still has to tackle, and how are the current forwards going to give him space

                  Commenter
                  Joe Blow
                  Location
                  The Burbs Blunt Cup 1989
                  Date and time
                  August 27, 2014, 8:06PM

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