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Kurtley 'knows everything, he's Mark Ella, phenomenal' - Alan Jones

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We need to take shackles off Quade, KB (3:22)

Grand Slam-winning coach Alan Jones talks exclusively to ESPN about his plans for the Barbarians and how he'll use Quade Cooper against the Wallabies, and questions whether Kurtley Beale is playing in the right position. (3:22)

Alan Jones describes him as "Mark Ella", and Kurtley Beale will have the chance to give a performance worthy of the great Wallabies No. 10 and represent his Aboriginal heritage when he runs out in Australia's Indigenous jersey in Bledisloe III in Brisbane.

Beale has been regarded as Australian rugby's great hope since he was a schoolboy, but never has he had the opportunity that presents itself at Suncorp Stadium this week; this is Beale's Bledisloe and he is primed to perform after an impressive Rugby Championship.

Three years ago, however, it could have all been over. Beale could have been lost to Australian rugby.

In what was an ugly period for Australian rugby, the Wallabies back was at the centre of a social media controversy involving Wallabies staffer Di Patston. It all proved too much for coach Ewen McKenzie, who sensationally quit his post after the All Blacks had completed a Bledisloe sweep with a 29-28 victory secured after the siren via a Colin Slade conversion.

Beale was suspended and copped a hefty fine, but he survived a push to have his contract torn up all together. Twelve months on, he was included in Michael Cheika's Rugby World Cup squad but played off the bench in all but a couple of games as Australia made it all the way to the final.

Six months later, he signed a one-year deal with Aviva Premiership club Wasps only to suffer a serious knee injury that robbed him of the first half of the season in the English competition. Injury struck again in the semifinals, leaving Beale a frustrated spectator as Wasps lost to Exeter Chiefs in the decider at Twickenham.

All the while, Cheika was working in the background -- making moves to ensure Beale did not take up the extra-year option in his Wasps deal; the coach instead lured him back with the promise of the Wallabies' No. 12 jersey.

According to Jones, however, that is not Beale's best position.

"He's a five-eighth," Jones, who will coach against Cheika when the Wallabies play the Barbarians at Allianz Stadium in Sydney a week, on Saturday told ESPN. "He knows when to use [the ball] and when to distribute it. He knows everything. He's Mark Ella. He's a phenomenal player."

Cheika isn't seeing that way at the moment, and it's easy to understand why the Wallabies coach is sticking with Bernard Foley and Beale as twin playmakers given their long-time partnership. Beale has never really commanded the No. 10 jersey at Test level, either. But the number on the back is, in part, irrelevant as the duo can interchange as they did so superbly to produce a wonderful try during the Rugby World Cup clash with England. And that number will mean even less this week because of the significance of the jersey Beale and the rest of the Wallabies will wear.

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Dancing Kurtley unveils 'special' Indigenous jersey

Returned Test star Kurtley Beale danced up a storm at the unveiling of the Wallabies' Indigenous jersey, before shedding a few tears when explaining just what the playing strip meant.

Only a few days' returned from his English stint, Beale fronted up for the launch of the Wallabies' Indigenous jersey amid the drama of the AFL management scandal that had involved his partner. When he could so easily have skipper the event, Beale instead showed up and gave an emotional speech on what the jersey meant to him and also joined local Indigenous dancers in a series of performances. It was a moment of maturity and that showed a distinct level of growth, both of which have at times been in short supply in Beale's professional career. The Patston/McKenzie saga isn't the only time Beale has put a foot wrong.

But he now seems to be in the best place of a Test career that already stands at a decade. And when you add another five or so years of expectation to that, it's easy to see why the one-year stint with Wasps, out of the Australian limelight, may have just been the best thing for him.

Beale's play in the Rugby Championship was rich in quality, although the defensive weaknesses that have long been a problem did start to return towards the backend of the tournament. He will need to defend with the same courage he displayed in Bledisloe II in Dunedin, where he shut down the dangerous Sonny Bill Williams throughout.

And he will no doubt be inspired to do so given the unique nature of this match and the Wallabies' move to mark the Indigenous contribution to rugby in Australia.

This is Kurtley Beale's Bledisloe Cup, just three years on from when his career was nearly all over.