Kurtley Beale prepares for the rainy first Test against the All Blacks on August 16, 2014. Photo: LookPro
The resignation of Di Patston as the business manager of the Wallabies has escalated a in-house difficulty facing the Wallabies into the most serious crisis confronting the ARU since the introduction of professional rugby.
The alleged text message Kurtley Beale sent to teammates (and inadvertently to Patston) in June denigrated Patston in a way that absolutely requires a full inquiry, which the ARU has instigated.
Kurtley Beale ready to pass in an earlier Rugby Championship match. Photo: Skysports
Kurtley Beale faces a disciplinary investigation after an incident on Australia’s flight to South America on Sunday.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Beale is being investigated by the ARU’s integrity unit for alleged verbal abuse of a member of team management on the trip to Brazil.
Kurtley Beale (on deck) celebrates with the Waratahs after defeating the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final. Photo: Getty Images
NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is a lot more optimistic about fending off rugby league’s interest in his playmaking star Kurtley Beale than he was a month ago.
Cheika is confident Australia’s latest mauling by the All Blacks last Saturday won’t push Beale towards league, with his Waratahs and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) contract expiring at the end of this year.
Kurtley Beale will be the Wallabies pivot against the All Blacks on Saturday. Photo: SMH
Kurtley Beale will wear the Wallabies No.10 jersey for the first time since 2012 in an overhauled Australian back line to play the All Blacks on Saturday.
In a stunning move, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has backed the 42-Test playmaker, whom he first selected at five-eighth as a teenager in the Waratahs, to lead Australia around the park at ANZ Stadium in the opening Test of the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup series.
In-form Test incumbent Bernard Foley will move to the bench, an unlucky casualty of his NSW teammate’s outstanding form in Super Rugby and off the bench for the Wallabies this year.
Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau are making an impact in rugby union. Photo: AAP
When Israel Folau was spotted having a coffee with the NRL’s head of football Todd Greenberg last week, it fuelled speculation that a return to rugby league was on the cards for the dual international.
Combined with sightings of Bulldogs coach Des Hasler at a Waratahs match – reportedly to watch Kurtley Beale play – it had the rugby union community in a slight panic, fearful they may be losing two of their biggest drawcards, and best players, to the 13 man-a-side game.
Folau hosed down any rumours on Fox Sports’ Rugby HQ on Thursday night, proclaiming the coffee was merely a chance meeting, along with highlighting the fact that it was Greenberg’s birthday and the two know each other well.