Beale should lead Wallabies out in Bledisloe: Horan

International
by Sam Phillips

Wallabies legend Tim Horan believes it would be fitting for Kurtley Beale to lead Australia out onto Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Wallabies will become the first national sports team to wear an Indigenous jersey when they take on the All Blacks and as the only current Indigenous Wallaby, Horan believes there would be no better way to start the night than to see Beale lead the team out.

"Kurtley Beale - how proud will he be when he puts on this jersey on Saturday night," Horan said.

"It's perfect timing for (Beale), being our only current Indigenous Test player and the form that he is in at the moment is probably the form of his career.

"To come back from the UK, to be playing as well as he is and to lead the team on Saturday will be special.

"Who knows, maybe he could lead the team out on Saturday night.Kurtley Beale and the Wallabies will wear an Indigenous jersey on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images"Michael Hooper is obviously the skipper but this is such an important jersey and such an important statement for sport in Australia."

Horan was today part of an unveiling of an Indigenous mural that lights up Milton Road, next to Suncorp Stadium.

Rather than taking the usual route to Suncorp Stadium down Caxton Street on Saturday, the team bus will drive past the mural, serving as a reminder of the Indigenous culture that the side will represent when they pull on the special jersey.

"I've been to many Bledisloe Cup Test matches in New Zealand where they paint the town black," Horan said.

"So it's really pleasing to see that Brisbane has come up with a mural behind us here in gold, green and with the Indigenous platform that we've got here this week, everyone is going to get behind it and support not just the Wallabies but support the Indigenous match this weekend," Horan said.


"Rugby union has a long way to come to catch up to other codes in certain areas but this is something that not just rugby supporters can be proud of but the sporting landscape in Australia.

"Everyone can be proud of what we are doing here in Brisbane, painting the city gold throughout the week, but more importantly on Saturday night this will be a real statement for rugby supporters."

On field, Horan believes the form Beale has returned in after a stint with Wasps has the Wallabies primed to cause a boilover against an All Blacks side that were nearly knocked off twice in The Rugby Championship.

"I think I said from the start of the year that we need a fit and on fire Kurtley Beale to be any chance against the All Blacks and he is playing some really good football - probably the best of his career," Horan said.

"He is mature, he is reading the game a lot better as well and he works so well with Israel Folau.

"Israel Folau loves playing next to Kurtley Beale and then you have someone like Bernard Foley and Will Genia who, probably in from are the two best halves of the competition at the moment.

"Certainly Michael Cheika and the team will respect the All Blacks but nothing short of a win will satisfy the Wallabies and Michael Cheika here on Saturday night."

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks on Saturday October 21 in the third Bledisloe clash, kicking off at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RUGBY.com.au.

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