Decision time looms for brilliant Beale

by AFP

Whether Kurtley Beale's future lies in the English Premiership or back home in Australia could well be decided in the next week.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young is expecting a decision from Beale soon and at this stage he has no idea which way the Wallabies star is leaning.

Beale was man of the match in the Premiership leaders' convincing 24-3 victory over Bath at the Recreation Ground - not just for his two tries but also the long, accurate positional kicks that denied the home side any attacking foothold.

"By virtue of being a quality player, Kurtley has a lot of options," said Young. "We're expecting a decision over the next week but there's quite a lot for him to think about - whether he wants another season in the Premiership or go back to Australia. I'm sure he has plenty of options to consider.

"Fingers crossed, he stays. But if he doesn't we want to make sure he finishes strongly. He's got better with every game and today was his best yet for us.

"It was always agreed that we would see how this season goes and how he and his girlfriend settle in. He's got his international career to think about.

"If it ends up being a year, it's a year we wouldn't have changed. If we can extend it, which we are hoping to do, we'll be really pleased. If we can't, it will have been a worthwhile exercise." - Dai Young

Beale has played 60 Tests for the Wallabies and signed with Wasps after playing 124 games in Super Rugby, the majority of them for the Waratahs where he starred in the NSW side's inaugural grand final win in 2014.

Victory places Wasps five points ahead of Exeter - who secured a bonus-point 34-15 victory over Leicester Tigers on Friday - whilst champions Saracens can keep in contention for top spot with an away win over Newcastle on Sunday.

While Wasps did the bare minimum required to win, Harlequins played out of their skin to come back from the dead and score 15 unanswered points in the final eight minutes to beat Gloucester 30-27. 

Saracens, also the European titleholders, will have both the fearsome Vunipola brothers in their starting line-up for the first time in a long while for the Newcastle match - No.8 Billy having recovered from a knee injury whilst Mako returned last month.