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By ARU Media Unit
Qantas Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale is heading home to Mt Druitt on Friday to meet fans at Westfield Mt Druitt just two days before the Qantas Wallabies kick off their Test season against Samoa at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
Beale, one of Australia’s backline all-stars, is the latest Test player to return to where he grew up as part of the Australian Rugby Union’s Qantas Wallabies Towns initiative.
The 23-year-old will meet with fans and sign autographs, plus give away some great prizes on centre stage at Westfield Mt Druitt from 1pm to 3pm.
The event will be MCed by Fox Sports commentator, Greg Clark.
Clark will interview Beale about what it was like growing up in the area, quiz him over his hopes for Rugby World Cup and get an insight into the journey of the former teen protégée and Australian Schoolboys captain, who has grown into a fully-fledged international Rugby star.
Members of the crowd will then get their opportunity to ask the Qantas Wallabies star questions.
The 2010 IRB Player of the Year Nominee, who will join the Melbourne Rebels next season, says the return to his hometown will be a great opportunity to garner support for the Qantas Wallabies’ Test opener on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to show the kids of Mt Druitt, that I am one of them,” Beale said.
“I’ve spoken to my family and they said there’s a bit of a buzz about my Wallaby Town visit and that’s great, especially since Test season is just around the corner. St Joseph’s College afforded me the opportunity to follow my dreams in Rugby but Mt Druitt will always be where I came from.
“In the middle of Rugby League heartland, it’s going to be good to see some support for Rugby.”
Beale spent his early years at Shalvey Public School in Mt Druitt before attending St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill. He was signed to the NSW Waratahs at the age of 16 whilst still at high school.
Australia’s 836th Wallaby made his Test debut at the end of the 2009 Wallaby Tour when he appeared on the wing as a substitute in the 34–12 Wallaby victory over Wales. His superstar potential was further cemented when he kicked the match-winning penalty goal at Bloemfontein in 2010, to secure Australia’s drought-breaking and historic win over South Africa.
Tickets are still available for the July 17 clash and start from just $25 for an adult, while a family of five gain entry for just $50.
The Test is preceded by Rugby’s Ecumenical Service at 10am and The Sunday Telegraph’s Family Fan Day at 11:30am in Cathy Freeman Park opposite ANZ Stadium.
All tickets to the Castrol Edge Test between the Qantas Wallabies v Samoa include entry and travel on public transport - to and from the game - on CityRail, Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses, regular Sydney Buses, Liverpool to Parramatta T-way Buses and Sydney Ferries.
Qantas Wallabies Towns is designed to encourage local communities to get behind their home-grown stars before the Wallabies embark on their quest to win back the Bledisloe Cup, the Castrol Edge Tri Nations and the World Cup.
Winger Lachie Turner heads to Epping on 21 July and utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper visits the Central Coast on the same day. The 16-town campaign will conclude with two Queensland events: James O’Connor, James Slipper, Scott Higginbotham and Ben Daley at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast on 28 July, and Berrick Barnes in Kingaroy on 1 August.
Special thanks to ARU Partners Qantas, Lexus, Sportscraft and Skins for their support across the Qantas Wallabies Towns visits.
Where (NSW unless noted)
Digby Ioane and Will Genia
Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson
Gold Coast (Qld)
James O’Connor, James Slipper, Scott Higginbotham and Ben Daley