Kurtley Beale considering code switch
July 13, 2014
Kurtley Beale was too good for the Reds as he crashed over for two tries and set up another for the Waratahs on Saturday © Getty Images
Australian rugby faces yet more bad news with reports that Kurtley Beale could be about to switch codes.
Just a week after star winger Nick Cummins announced he was moving to play club rugby in Japan - ruling him out of contention for the Wallabies' World Cup squad next year - Australia's Sunday Telegraph revealed that the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have approached Beale about a move to the NRL.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler was spotted watching Beale in Super Rugby action for the Waratahs last Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph reports he has held talks with the inside centre.
Beale, who has 42 caps for Australia, played rugby league as a schoolboy prior to being fast-tracked into the Waratahs set-up when he was just 16. Now 25, Beale has previously admitted he has a desire to play in the NRL.
"It's always lingering in the back of my mind," Beale said in January last year. "I'm a massive fan of rugby league and I played it all my junior career and I'm always switching channels to watch it on the weekend.
"Hopefully later on, in the years to come, I will be able to put my hand up and have a crack at it."
If Beale does switch codes, he will join a long list of Wallabies unavailable for selection. Former Australia captain Ben Mowen will head to France to play for Montpellier at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season, while Waratahs fullback Israel Folau has also been targeted by NRL clubs.
Folau however, is under contract, whereas Beale is a free agent next season and is said to be considering if he should delay a move away from union until after the World Cup.
Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika said it was "obvious" that Australian rugby must keep hold of Beale after he put on a masterclass to cut apart the Reds' defence in Super Rugby's final regular season match on Saturday night.
Beale was a dominating force as he crashed over for two tries and set up another in a commanding performance. He caused problems for the Reds defence throughout the match, swapping roles with fly-half Bernard Foley to play first-receiver for most of the game.
The Waratahs will be hopeful that they will be able to table a compelling offer to prevent him from walking out but the Waratahs will have to fight off European and Japanese rugby clubs as well as NRL teams in order to secure the Wallabies star.
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