Beale scoops Waratahs award
July 15, 2011
Beale was spectacular for the Waratahs in 2011 but will head to the Rebels for the 2012 season © Getty Images
Former Waratahs fullback Kurtley Beale has been awarded the franchise's Player's Player of the 2011 Super Rugby season award.
Beale, who will join the Melbourne Rebels for the 2012 season, was instrumental in the Waratahs journey to the play-offs, where they lost to the Blues 26-13. Beale finished the poll ahead of 2010 champion Tatafu Polota-Nau, who collected the award for best forward. The Waratahs players voted for their player of the round following each game - registering a three, two, one preference - and the votes were collated at the end of the season. Dave Dennis, who was third, was the only player to top the poll on three occasions this season.
Wallaby scrum-half Luke Burgess, who will join Top 14 side Toulouse for the 2011-12 season, picked up the award for the stand-out back of the season. Centre Tom Carter picked up the Waratah Medal for on and off the field excellence while Tom Kingston was rewarded with the Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Award.
Beale also received the highest number of votes for a round following his performance against the Bulls at Loftus Versveld where the Bulls prevailed 23-17. Beale, who will be joined at the Melbourne Rebels next season by fellow Wallaby James O'Connor, has admitted he is relishing the chance to ply his trade for the Waratahs' rivals next season. "I am stoked. Melbourne is a great city and to get an opportunity to play down there is awesome," Beale said, talking to the AAP. "I didn't know what Rabs (James O'Connor) was doing (with his contract). I guess I made the first move and signed, and he had his options there, plenty of them. I am glad that he made the right one."
Beale will hope to make his 15th appearance for the Wallabies from the bench against Samoa on Sunday. Future Rebels team-mate O'Connor starts on the wing while Mark Gerrard comes in at fullback.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch