Beale biding his time on Wallabies bench
June 18, 2014
One of the more experienced players in the backline, Beale will have to bide his time on the bench © Getty Images
Kurtley Beale is a victim of his own class and experience as the one-time world player of the year nominee continues to bide his time on the Wallabies bench. Already well aware of what Beale brings to the table, coach Ewen McKenzie says it's for the greater good of the Wallabies to fast-track Australia's emerging Test stars for the challenges ahead.
The looming Bledisloe Cup series with the All Blacks and next year's Rugby World Cup in England are firmly in McKenzie's sights. Hence why he's happy to leave Beale cooling his heels for Australia's third and final Test against France in Sydney, with NSW Waratahs team-mate Bernard Foley retaining the playmaker's role for Saturday's match at Allianz Stadium.
Vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper, a 93-Test veteran, has more caps than fullback Israel Folau (17), fellow winger Nick Cummins (14), centres Tevita Kuridrani (10) and Matt Toomua (12), five-eighth Foley (6) and half-back Nic White (12) combined.
"If you go and look at the cap listing, you'll find that apart from Adam Ashley-Cooper there isn't that much experience in the backline. So we are investing in that," McKenzie said. "When you look at the guys on the bench, they've got a lot of experience. So I guess we know a lot more about those guys and those guys have experienced lots of environments already. We need to continue to invest time in the guys that we have picked in the backline, in particular."
McKenzie said Beale remained integral to the Wallabies. "KB does a good job changing the nature of the game, particularly late when everyone's a bit tired," he said. "We'll certainly look to give him more and more time and obviously we don't have a problem starting him, but we're happy with what we've got. "So we're pumping experience in."
McKenzie said Beale's selection on the bench was no different to the Wallabies' second-row situation. NSW Waratahs lock Will Skelton is the latest to earn a maiden Test start, replacing 2011 World Cup captain James Horwill, after the Brumbies' Sam Carter received his first cap earlier in the French series and young gun Luke Jones was named on the bench this week.
"We've got to make sure we get more more experienced players moving forward to take on some of the challenges we've got ahead," McKenzie said.
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