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Beale to exit Waratahs before Super Rugby AU kick-off

Sun, 21/06/2020, 1:10 am
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Kurtley Beale is set to leave the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
Kurtley Beale is set to leave the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

Kurtley Beale has likely played his last game for the Waratahs after being granted an early exit from his contract ahead of the Super Rugby AU competition.

News emerged on Sunday morning that Beale has released from his Waratahs and Rugby Australia contract early, ahead of an impending move to Paris.

The Waratahs are yet to officially confirm Beale's departure but they are expected to make an announcement early in the week.

Beale has signed a two-year deal with Top 14 side Racing 92, beginning next season, and initially it was expected he would play out the Australian season

His reasons for an early exit aren't entirely clear but it is believed to be an amicable exit.

The utility back became the Waratahs' most-capped player in history in March after more than a decade in the sky blue and at the time said he was determined to leave a legacy in NSW.

Beale has admitted through the year that his form was below his best and he was not part of a Players of National Interest list compiled by the new Wallabies coaching group after the Super Rugby shutdown.

“I’ve obviously put a lot of expectations on myself to be playing at a level that I’m happy (with),” he said.

“At the moment, I’m kind of finding it a little bit tough to try and pop in and pop out at certain plays and get my hands on the ball at the right time.

“Obviously there’s some new structures set in place and new ways to play the game, and I don’t think I’m far off though just to be able to build combinations with certain players around me."

The 31-year-old will still be eligible to play for the Wallabies despite this move, having racked up 92 Tests since his 2007 debut.

His move leaves flanker Michael Hooper as the only remaining member of the 2014 championship side still at the Waratahs.

Rebels lock Luke Jones, also bound for Racing 92, is also set to depart Melbourne without playing in Super Rugby AU.

Jones played the opening game for the Rebels this season before a back injury hindered the remainder of his campaign.

The Waratahs take on the Reds in Super Rugby AU on Friday July 3 at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:05pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports.


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