Beale grabs Eales medal, McCabe rookie of year
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Beale grabs Eales medal, McCabe rookie of year

Kurtley Beale's growing importance to the Wallabies was emphasised last night, with the crowd-pleasing fullback winning the John Eales Medal voted on by his teammates, while Pat McCabe's potential was acknowledged with a Rookie of the Year award.

Brumbies utility back McCabe, who has started at inside centre in all five of Australia's Tests this year, collected the award, after making his debut off the bench against Italy late last year.

Beale grabs Eales medal, McCabe rookie of year

Beale grabs Eales medal, McCabe rookie of year

The recognition of McCabe will be a boon to the Brumbies after a disappointing season.

Beale's award confirms the Wallabies star has flourished since moving to fullback last year.

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Beale grabs Eales medal, McCabe rookie of year

Beale grabs Eales medal, McCabe rookie of year

He polled 127 votes, five more than hooker Stephen Moore, with openside flanker and last year's winner David Pocock a further 22 votes back in third place.

''It's still a bit surprising but I guess I'm very very honoured to receive the award,'' Beale said.

''I couldn't have done it without all the boys in the squad.''

Beale attributed his continued improvement over the past year to hard work.

''Just a bit of hard work, sacrificing a bit of time to go out of my way and put in the hard yards,'' Beale said.

''Hard work gets you where you want to be.''

Beale said he had struggled in his first couple of years of professional rugby following a much lauded time at school level.

''Over the last couple of years I feel that I have been playing consistent rugby and I think that all goes down to the environment I'm in, being around positive people really helps.''

Votes were cast on a 3-2-1 basis by all 22 members of each Australian match day squad over the past 12 months.

A consistent Beale polled votes in all but two of the Tests over that period.

New Wallabies cult hero Radike Samo added further lustre to his status by winning the try of the year for his stunning 60m solo effort against New Zealand last weekend.

Other winners included Bernard Foley (sevens player of the year), Shannon Parry (women's player of the year) and Michael Hooper (under-20 player of the year).

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