Beale expects Force fans to back Wallabies in Perth

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies centre Kurtley Beale is expecting a warm reception for the national team when they hit Perth next week, ahead of their Rugby Championship clash with the Springboks.

A Supreme Court ruling over the Western Force’s appeal of the recent arbitration decision that allowed the ARU to axe the WA franchise is expected to be handed down next week, while the Wallabies are in town.

Force fans have flagged wearing their blue jerseys to the Test as a sign of contempt for the ARU, but Beale said he expected supporters to get behind the players.

“I think rugby's been played over there for a long time now and with the Force coming in, it gave them a team to follow, but hopefully we get a lot of strong support down at nib Stadium,” he said.

“Deep down if you love your rugby then you're going to hopefully enjoy a really good game against the Boks and from a performance view, hopefully we can put on a really good show and build on what we did last weekend against the ABs.”

Beale, who was overseas for much of the saga in the first half of the year, said the Wallabies were throwing their arms around the Force players in camp.

“You can see the boys are a bit rattled and they're disappointed about it,” he said

“I think they want to just get that decision out and get the decision made and move on.

“Obviously it's a difficult time for them and their families that they're going through so we’re making sure we're always there to help out and if they need it.”

On the field, the Wallabies’ focus is on continuing the improvement they showed in Dunedin, despite falling agonisingly short.

Bernard Foley’s misfiring boot has copped a lot of flak in the wake of that loss, with the flyhalf leaving nine points on the field, but Beale defended his playmaking partner.

“I think he's been striking the ball really well and just unfortunate it didn't really pan out the way we wanted it that night,” he said.

“We should've scored a little bit more tries, I felt. We shouldn't be relying on those goal kicks.”

Beale, a Brisbane Global Rugby Tens ambassador, was speaking at the event’s launch on Wednesday, suggested Wendell Sailor could follow, or even Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey could maybe don the sky blue in 2018.

“Nathan Grey's still got it in him. I think he'd be a nice little wildcard there to throw around,” he said.

“It's a great event to get ex-players coming back and I think it's great for the game.

“Growing up you idolise those guys when they're playing in the Wallaby jersey, so if something like that happened it'd be pretty awesome.”

The Wallabies head to Perth on Sunday, before taking on the Springboks on September 9.