Beale primed to deliver for Wallabies
August 9, 2014
Kurtley Beale's excellent recent form is a major plus for Ewen McKenzie © Getty Images
Former national mentor Eddie Jones believes the Wallabies are in good shape to deliver a Bledisloe Cup triumph in 2014 despite a lack of genuine pace on the wings.
In his column in the Courier Mail on Saturday, Jones said the Super Rugby finals had provided plenty of evidence that the Wallabies can make a genuine tilt for the trans-Tasman crown.
"Winning the Super Rugby title without Israel Folau making a line break in their two crunch finals games is testament to the magnificent development of the New South Wales Waratahs," Jones wrote in the Courier Mail. "They were tremendous in victory in perhaps the best-ever Super Rugby game by my quick reckoning.
"There were a couple of huge outcomes for the Wallabies that can flow into the vital fast start they need in Sydney next Saturday to launch a winning Bledisloe Cup campaign. Kurtley Beale growing up is the biggest plus on an individual player level. In the final he looked like the young schoolboy with the amazing array of skills transferring them to the top level. If managed well by Test boss Ewen McKenzie, Beale will be a match-winner for the Wallabies."
Jones believes the strength of the Brumbies indicates that there is plenty of depth in the Wallabies' ranks and said the lack of speed on the wings would not be a major issue against the All Blacks.
"The wings are a concern with [Adam] Ashley-Cooper and Pat McCabe earmarked there," he said. "Lack of real speed is an issue but both are very good players and full of courage. I would rate Ashley-Cooper as my Super Rugby Player of the Year. The lack of speed on the wings will be more an issue against the Springboks than the All Blacks because the South Africans have real gas."
The Wallabies open their Bledisloe Cup campaign in Sydney next Saturday night.
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