Beale wary of 'unpredictable' second-string France

Tue, 06/07/2021, 07:54 am
by AFP
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie speaks after announcing his side for the First Test against France.

Former Wallaby full-back Kurtley Beale warned Australia against a "very unpredictable and exciting" France ahead of a Test series in which the visitors lacking a host of first-choice players.

Beale, 32, who has just finished his first season at Top 14 side Racing 92, has been omitted from the Wallaby squad for the series which starts in Brisbane on Wednesday.

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Les Bleus have sent a second-string squad to Australia without many regulars, including players from Top 14 finalists Toulouse and La Rochelle who would not have had time to complete Australia's coronavirus entry quarantine.

"It's an exciting bunch. They always play an unpredictable style that if you are lazy, not focused or not switched on they will pounce and create opportunities that leave you 15-20 points behind," Beale told AFP.

"You can't blink an eye against them.

"They play a brand of rugby that is exciting, that everybody likes to watch. They're obviously doing something right there," he added.

Beale last played for his country in the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to England.

Australia coach Dave Rennie said last month he was against selecting foreign-based players. Yet Beale said he still hopes to appear again for his country.

"I've never said I was done with the Wallabies or with international rugby," the former Waratahs playmaker said.

"There has been no contact with the coaches back home," he added.


The 2023 World Cup will be held in France and Beale said playing alongside stars such as Scotland fly-half Finn Russell and France centres Virimi Vakatawa and Gael Fickou at his club can help him earn a fourth appearance in the tournament.

"That's definitely a goal of mine. To play another World Cup. If I can do that in France that can be fantastic," he said.

"That's something I want to keep pushing for. I know I have a lot of great players from international players around me. 

"I'm still learning, pushing hard for spots. That hunger is still there to represent my country," he said.

Beale is among a handful of Indigenous players to have worn the green and gold shirt and he posts messages regularly on social media on the topic.

"Aboriginal people, we come from oppression, we suffer from generational trauma. It's difficult to come out of that rut. I'm lucky, I'm one of the very few people who have done so," Beale said.

"I'll always keep representing it to hopefully to inspire the next Kurtley Beale to play for the Wallabies," he added.


INSIDE KNOWLEDGE: Philip giving French tips

EASY CHOICE: Rennie backs Lolesio

TEAM: Wallabies name first Test squad

On Wednesday, Les Bleus are set to hand Test debuts to seven players at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

France are without the likes of captain Charles Ollivon and Toulouse scrum-half Antoine Dupont, but have five former Under-20 world champions – Demba Bamba, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Killian Geraci, Louis Carbonel and Arthur Vincent -- in the starting lineup.

"There's a lot of success in the Under 20 World Cup. Those players are now seeping into the senior squad and making a name for themselves so they're a dangerous outfit," Beale said.

"It's going to be a tight series. I'd like to back my country, 2-1," he added

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