Beale appreciating Wallabies opportunity

by Staff Writer

Kurtley Beale appreciates every moment he spends representing Australia.

Just as significant for the 26-year-old, though, is representing his family.

Beale speaks with obvious appreciation about the opportunity to play for the Wallabies and represent Australia, after what was a difficult 2014.

I love playing for my country,” he said.

“Rugby’s the best game in the world and to be able to go out there and represent my country and my family and friends on such a big stage, it’s a great feeling.

“There’s been a lot of tough times but to be able to be a part of this great team and great coaching staff,” he said.

“It’s something I love doing and I’m very lucky and very honoured to be a part of such a special team.”

His appreciation extends beyond just representing Australia, though.

The side’s sole Indigenous player but with a number of players from various backgrounds, Beale says the multicultural mix in the team is a unique strength that they could harness.

It’s an element that coach Michael Cheika lauded this week and Beale said representing his own family was something of extra significance.

“I hold that very close to my heart being an Indigenous guy,” he said.

“There’s so many different cultural backgrounds, we’re all bonded together to be able to go out there and do one special thing.

“You can take that and use that to our advantage and we’re certainly doing that.

“I think it’s an advantage, definitely when we’re playing against other teams.”

Beale replaced winger Rob Horne in the 11th minute of the Wallabies’ 33-13 win over England in a seamless swap.

After replacing Horne, Beale set up a spectacular one-two with NSW teammate Bernard Foley for the Wallabies’ second try, in one of the highlights of the night.

He moved to fullback after Israel Folau rolled his ankle and covered the 15 superbly, in one of his best games for the Wallabies.

Beale said he wasn’t fazed by the unexpected injection into the game, though he felt for Waratahs teammate Horne.

“The bench players have obviously got to be ready at all times and that’s exactly what I did,” he said.

“It was a bit unfortunate for Rob who’s a great player, he really sets the benchmark for our defence and leads from the front in that area.

“It’s very sad to see him get that injury.”

Cheika was quick to praise Beale’s performance, emphasising his importance in the win.

“I thought that in fact Kurtley Beale who came on, played wing and moved to fullback was outstanding in that position,” he said.

“(He) really took a lot of control there and I was really pleased with the way he filled in for Israel in the back half of the game.”

While the importance of the victory, for confidence and their tournament chances, was immense, Beale said even more important was switching their vision to Wales.

“To get the win tonight will definitely boost confidence but I think it’s really important now to stay composed and relaxed and not really think too much about that game.

“Wales are a great team, .they play with a lot of attacking flair.

“They’ve got some really exciting backs in their back line so it’s another big challenge ahead.”

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