Dennis feels for Beale amid contract speculation

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs club captain Dave Dennis feels for Kurtley Beale as he deals with an ongoing contact saga.

Beale is yet to make a call on where he will play his rugby next season, weighing up an offer from London’s Wasps, but there have been reports in recent weeks that the deal could fall through.

The latest speculation came on Rugby 360 on Wednesday night, with host Greg Martin saying the Wasps' pursuit of Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny could cool Wasps' interest in Beale.

Dennis, on the other hand, had his contract with Premiership club Exeter Chiefs sewn up before the Super Rugby season began.

While Dennis said he knew few specifics around Beale’s situation, the drawn out process would be less than ideal for the Waratahs inside centre.

“I don’t know a lot of details around it,” he said.

“I know there was something there but I haven’t really spoken to him about it.

“I sorted mine nice and early for the reason I didn’t want to distract my season and I just wanted to get it out of the way before the season started and be clear in terms of my movements over the next 6-12 months.

“I think it’s probably a little bit frustrating for Kurtley that it’s taken so long to sort out where he’s going or (if he's) not, either or.

“I’m not sure what he’s doing but there’s probably a bit of frustration.

“But if you look at the way he’s playing footy it doesn’t seem to be affecting him because he's been really good for us.”

Beale recently said he hoped to have his contract sorted soon, but had a lot of factors to consider.

One factor that might play into his future is regulation nine and his eligibility for the Wallabies while overseas, having passed the 60 cap mark.

That would mean that the Wasps would be forced to give Beale up for Test duty if he is required.

Kurtley Beale will still be eligible to play for the Wallabies,. Photo: Getty ImagesWherever Beale plays next year, it wouldn’t preclude him from turning up in a Waratahs jersey down the track.

Two of his teammates are living proof of that - Matt Carraro played at both Montpellier and Bath before coming back to NSW in 2014, while Dean Mumm returned to Australia after a  three-year stint with Exeter

Carraro said plenty of teammates asked him for advice about overseas rugby ultimately it was Beale’s call.

“It's up to him,” he said.

“People go for different reasons. I went because I didn’t really have an opportunity to progress here.

“This is a worldwide game and we’re lucky for that and we get to play in different countries.

“Whatever your reason is to go and whether you want to come back and KB with his form, he is one of the best players in the world.

“If he does go, hopefully he stays in that Wallaby jumper and we will see him back here eventually.

“But hopefully he doesn’t go.”

The Waratahs will go unchanged into their clash with the Bulls this weekend after deciding to take the cautious route with backrower Jack Dempsey (shoulder), keeping Ned Hanigan on the bench.

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