Beale has England worried
RUGBY UNION: England coach Eddie Jones fears Kurtley Beale at Twickenham like no other Wallaby now that the playmaker is on top of the issues that once tripped superstars Johnathan Thurston and Wayne Rooney.
To understand the Jones’s raves for Beale “doing things other players don’t even dream of”, you need to realise he saw the Wallaby teetering on the precipice of a wasted career.
Jones urged that “rugby cannot toss Kurtley away” during that turbulent period when he needed a more caring environment to manage him through situations where alcohol and emotion were dangerous partners.
“Rooney was no angel at Manchester United just as Thurston, in rugby league, used to have issues yet they were managed smartly and both were very successful,” Jones said. “Playing makes Beale happy.” The off-season is the devil for some players and the bonus to Beale’s 17-game stint with English club Wasps in 2016-17 may just have been that busy, upbeat playing schedule to go with learning the different points of emphasis in the English game.
Beale has been terrific in his nine-Test return this season and has taken to the senior player role with relish in the supportive environment that Michael Cheika and Michael Hooper have created. The spark that Beale will offer at Twickenham on Saturday is one key ingredient that was missing when the Wallabies tumbled to four losses to the English last year. The 11-Test winning streak at their home fortress at Twickenham is under siege, and Jones is delighted.
— Jim Tucker