Beale embracing his role as Test influencer

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale has brought a sense of calm to the Test team as he learns to embrace a role as a key influencer of the next Australian rugby generation.

Beale is in a unique position, having transformed and grown over a rollercoaster career that has taken him from schoolboy prodigy to troubled talent and now, many hope, to mature adult.

With his Wallabies return in full swing again, after injuries and a stint in the UK with Wasps, Beale said he felt his journey gave him a responsibility to advise and help the next generation grow.

“100 per cent, I feel like if they do need a hand, (with) some advice I can help out wherever I can," Beale told RUGBY.com.au.

“That's important for a senior guy at this level - to pass on as much knowledge and information to these young guys because they are our next generation.

“These guys, these kids look up to you, they want to learn, they ask a lot of questions so that they can get better.

“For me, that's what you want (to happen).

“It's allowing us to all get a good understanding of each other and with that understanding comes tight friendships and that's been showing through our performances."

Beale has set the tone for the Wallabies in the opening two Bledisloe Tests, but the role of influencer is sitting well with him, in this his first stint in the Test side since the Rugby World Cup in England two years ago.

“It's a huge challenge but I think it's exciting times,” - Kurtley Beale.

“For me being in the role in the team, having the role I have in the team, it's an important one, especially helping Bernard (Foley) direct the team around the field.

“But also having that experience to guide the team, keep the guys calm in big moments and try and create as much as I can when I'm out on the field.”

The bonds Beale speaks about have become a strong thread in this Wallabies group and though one promising Bledisloe outing has not let them get ahead of themselves, the 28-year-old said there was reason for optimism.

“There's so much talent in Australian rugby and it's great to see these young guys get an opportunity at this level and we train week in, week out and you're seeing a slow progression with these kids,” he said.

“They want to learn and they want to get better and that in itself is a great attitude and the way we should be approaching our games and our training.

“It's a matter of now sticking on the same path and working towards a similar performance week in, week out.”

Consistency still eludes the Aussies, and that’s something Beale said was a key focus.

“There’s obviously some big challenges there with the Bledisloe but I feel like there's a really good shift from the lads that we're slowly building,” - Kurtley Beale.

“There's a slow progression there and I think that's a really good sign for us moving forward and I think it's all about being consistent, making sure we deliver that performance that we had on the weekend even though we lost but the guys are turning up doing their role and hopefully put another performance like that in week in, week out.”

The Wallabies flew to Perth on Sunday ahead of what is set to be an intriguing week, as they prepare for the Springboks.

Australia takes on South Africa in Perth on Saturday September 9, kicking off at 6pm AWST, 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.