Beale can be Wallabies' second five-eighth - Ashley-Cooper
March 6, 2014
Kurtley Beale's seamless transition to inside centre for New South Wales Waratahs makes him an ideal candidate to claim the Wallabies' No.12 jumper, Super Rugby and Test team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper says.
Beale has played the majority of his international and Super Rugby career at fullback or five-eighth, but he has excelled this season having move to midfield. Ashley-Cooper says Beale has blossomed in the Tahs' No.12 jumper because he has been relieved of the pressures associated with directing a team around the park, and he believes Beale may fit perfectly the Test line-up with Israel Folau and Quade Cooper unlikely to be budged from No.15 and 10 respectively.
"Potentially, absolutely," Ashley-Cooper said of the prospective Test selection. 'What's best about KB and why he's performing so well at 12 is because he understands the demands and what's required at 12 from being a 10.
"The guy is a great football player. He's creative and unpredictable in his skill, and that's everything you need. I think 12 has suited his style because it's allowed him to [get away from] the stress that there is at 10 being a director of the team. He hasn't had that weight on his shoulders."
Brumbies playmakers Christian Leali'ifano and Matt Toomua shared No.12 duties on the successful end-of-year tour last year, which Beale missed after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction, but Ashley-Cooper believes his team-mate will re-enter the frame for selection having re-invented himself as an attacking force with the Waratahs.
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies