Wallabies abroad: Beale scores on debut for Wasps

by Montanna Clare

Kurtley Beale has produced a man-of-the-match performance in his return from a seven-month injury lay-off, helping Wasps to a European Champions Cup win on debut for the English rugby club.

Playing at inside centre, the Australian made an impact early when he crashed over to score a try from close range after seven minutes as the European heavyweights beat Pool Two rivals Connacht from Ireland 32-17 at home.

Despite a harsh sin-binning for a high tackle midway through the first half, Beale was named the best player on the field in his first outing for the Coventry-based side on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT).

"There was a lot of emotion," the 68-cap Wallaby said. "Obviously there's a lot of nerves - little bit of doubt here and there."

"But obviously I was really confident with the lads around me. The boys made it really easy to come in and just play my part for the team." - Kurtley Beale

The inside centre was sin-binned for a high tackle on Niyi Adeolokun after dotting down in Wasps' 32-17 bonus-point defeat of Connacht 32-17, a win that put the Coventry side on top of its Champions Cup group.

Montpelier and former Wallabies halfback Nic White helped guide his team over the line in France, scoring in the final minute of the game defeating Castres Olympique 32-14 alongside former Wallabies and Brumbies teammate Jess Mogg.

Nic White scored in the final minute for Montpelier against Castres Olympiques. Photo: Getty Images. Will Skelton started off the bench for Saracens, signed to a short-term contract with the English club after the Wallabies' five-Test spring Tour, entering the match in the 51st minute to make his debut in a landslide victory against the Sale Sharks, 50-3.

Clermont lock Sitaleki Timani came off the bench in his side's thrilling 39-32 loss to Ulster in Ireland, while the Glasgow Warriors beat out home side Racing Metro 23-14, with Aussie Sam Johnson starting at inside centre.

Former Waratahs teammates Peter Betham and Lachie McCaffrey had a tough day at the office, suiting up for Leicester, with the Tigers demolished by Munster 38-0.

There was plenty of Aussie talent on show in the match up between Exeter Chiefs and Bordeaux Begles, with the French side pulling off a second-half comeback, despite the absence of Wallabies centurion Adam Ashley-Cooper, winning 13-7.

Luke Jones made his Bordeaux debut last weekend. Photo: AFPFormer Rebels and Wallabies lock Luke Jones  came off the bench in the second half for the Begles, as his side notched 10 unanswered points to clinch the victory.

Dave Dennis started for Exeter, with Ollie Atkins and Greg Holmes coming on in the second half, while LachieTurner was the only Aussie to make a full 80-minute appearance.

Challenge Cup

Salesi Ma'afu's Gloucester kept its 100 per cent track record in the Challenge Cup intact, with a 35-14 win over La Rochelle,while Aussie Zack Holmes nabbed two conversions for the opposition.

Ben Tapuai’s Bath went down the Cardiff Blues 28-3 and Will Genia starred for Stade Francais but it wasn't enough to steal victory in Scotland, with Stade going down to Edinburgh 23-28.

Top League

Capped Wallabies turned out in force over in Japan , with Australian flanker David Pocock joining fellow Wallabies teammate Taqele Naiyaravoro and capped Test player Daniel Heenan in his Top League debut for the Panasonic Wild Knights at Hanazono Stadium in Osaka.

Pocock’s debut was overshadowed by a league record six-try haul from Kenki Fukuoka, as the Wild Knights hammered Hugh McMeniman and Digby Ioane's Honda Heat 69 -14.

Berrick Barnes came off the bench in the 54th minute, sinking four conversions in his 26 minutes as replacement flyhalf for the Wild Knights.

Evergreen Wallabies openside George Smith and his Suntory team overcame a poor start to top Coca-Cola Red Sparks 48-12 at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, putting them just one point off competition leaders Yamaha Jubilo.