Kurtley Beale hopes more can be done for rugby in Western Sydney, after the axing of the Penrith Emus from Shute Shield.
The Emus were cut from the Sydney club competition after seasons of poor performances and back office instability, leaving the club angered and dismayed.
Though Beale has played his Shute Shield for Randwick, the playmaker grew up in Mt Druitt and said the western region of Sydney shouldn’t be neglected.
“I think there's so much talent out there, being born and bred from the area and growing up seeing talent being pushed to league, it's certainly something we need to tap into,” he said.
“I know speaking to (former Penrith players and Waratahs) Dave Dennis and Cliffy Palu in the past years, trying to figure out something to try and help out wherever we can to be able to do what we can to be able to keep some of the talent and a lot of the supporters out there in the game.”
The Wallabies trained at Penrith ahead of last year’s Bledisloe opener and it is believed they are planning to do the same again this year, while the Waratahs have the opportunity to shift games to Parramatta Stadium while Allianz is being refurbished.
Beale said moves like those would show that there is support for the sport in the western region.
“We trained out at Penrith Park for the Wallabies last year and that was pretty cool,” he said.
“No doubt there's a lot of support out there for rugby union, it's a matter of getting out there and doing it."
The Waratahs donned their club jerseys at training on Tuesday and will don club or school socks against the Highlanders, something Beale said was an important initiative.
“It's obviously an exciting week for club rugby, the start of the Shute Shield. It's a great competition and it's a good opportunity for a lot of the guys to represent their club colours on the weekend,” he said.
“Grassroots is an important part of our game, especially for the growth of our game and for our guys to be able to represent their colours and be the role models for a lot of our young guys to look up to, it would be a really good opportunity to do that.”
The Waratahs take on the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.