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New Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson will continue Michael Cheika's legacy: Kurtley Beale

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The fire and brimstone that used to follow Michael Cheika onto the Waratahs training ground may be extinguished but the legacy of success will remain, says Kurtley Beale.

Cheika, the instrumental figure who guided NSW to their first Super Rugby title in 2014 with an exciting brand of running rugby, was never one to shy away from confrontation or getting his hands dirty – often seen barking orders or jumping into the thick of action to lead his charges by example.

The new man in charge – Daryl Gibson, in his first head coaching position after assistant stints with the Crusaders and Waratahs – has been described by Beale as "laid-back" and "easy-going", a far cry from what most would use to describe Cheika.

But Beale believes this is no reason to throw shade at the former All Black centre, who is "certainly very similar" in trying to keep the legacy that has been laid in the past few seasons and commands the highest respect from all the players.

"They are obviously different in their own ways. Cheika's a great personality, he's really good at firing the boys up and switching the boys on at critical moments in training sessions whereas Daryl is a very laid back person and everyone just follows what he says," said Beale.


"He's got a really good rugby brain and he's a very smart operator so no doubt he will be trying to continue on the success that Cheika's had and I'm sure in his own way he's got a few tricks up his sleeve to keep that momentum going.

"Daryl is easy going and he's leaving the onus on a lot of senior boys within the group to get the boys going when we need to. He's just a very smart operator."

With the departures of veterans such as Adam Ashley-Cooper and Sekope Kepu before the 2016 season, Beale feels that his status as one of the senior members of the squad is a natural progression following his experience at the Rugby World Cup.

Beale was arguably Australia's best player in the final  where he came off the bench in the second half to drag the Wallabies within four points of World Cup glory before ultimately losing 34-17 to the All Blacks.

Despite being assigned as an impact player off the bench throughout the tournament, Beale believes playing against quality teams and spending time with other Wallabies such as Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell has "enhanced his knowledge of the game" and is keen on taking the tips back to his club's locker room.

The 27-year-old is not resting on his laurels though and is keen to cement a specific position in the backline this year after years of tinkering.

Gibson has made public his desire to move regular fullback Israel Folau moving to outside centre, that will potentially have Beale covering at fullback.

"I would really like to play in the front line, either 10 or 12," Beale said.

"Obviously striking up a really good combination with Bernard Foley over the past few years has been really enjoyable but if Daryl wants to play a few tricks and play Izzy in the front line and push me to fullback, I'll be happy to fill that position and grab it with both hands."