Beale shapes as Wallabies' Bledisloe key: Mealamu

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Kurtley Beale is the key to the Wallabies' Bledisloe hopes, according to former All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu.

Asked which Wallabies player shaped as the biggest Australian weapon ahead of the 2018 Bledisloe Cup series, Mealamu was quick to point to the enigmatic back.

“I just think for a guy that's been around for a while, I've seen him reinvent himself and still playing at such a high level," he said.

“Being a rugby player that played for a long time, you can appreciate that.

“As he's getting older, he's getting better which is great.

“He's one that will be one that we have to keep an eye on.”

The All Blacks have had their hands on the Bledisloe since 2003. Photo: Getty ImagesMealamu retired after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where the All Blacks faced the Wallabies in the tournament final, and said Beale had only grown since then.

“He just looks comfortable in his position, he looks confident and he looks like he's just taking opportunities, which is great," he said.

“I always was one that was on the other side and if he was running the ball against us you'd always make sure you had good people around you to help defend that space.

“He just looks confident and he looks like he's just backing himself.”

The All Blacks have held the Bledisloe since 2003 but Mealamu said the competition would be tight in 2018.

“I'd say of course every year's a chance (for the Wallabies),” he said.

“When I look forward to the All Blacks and Wallabies Test matches I think our boys are in a good space at the moment.

“It's always a tightly contested Test matches so we just need to make sure our boys are well-prepared and on the ball.”

The Wallabies will take on the All Blacks in the opening 2019 Bledisloe Cup Test in Perth on August 10. Click here to join the waitlist for exclusive presale.