Beale’s back! Wallabies star joins Western Force after injury opens the door for veteran’s return


Fresh from making his return to club footy, veteran Wallabies star Kurtley Beale will join the Western Force.

An injury to versatile back Harry Potter opened the door for Beale to return to Super Rugby after his comeback last year was cut short before it even began.

Indeed, the 95-Test Wallaby missed the entire 2023 season after being charged with sexual assault.

But those charges were dismissed earlier this year, as he was cleared of all charges.

Immediately Beale set about resurrecting his career, as he returned for Randwick.

In less than an hour, the playmaker showed he’s still got it as he didn’t appear to miss a beat upon his return against Brothers in the Australian Club Championship.

Kurtley Beale of Randwick in action during the Club Rugby Championship match between Brothers and Randwick at Crosby Park on March 16, 2024 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Beale, looking fitter than he has in years, made one linebreak on his line and set up a length of the field counter, which saw Randwick hit back to narrow the margin against Brothers.

His club coach Stephen Hoiles, who played alongside Beale during the Waratahs’ 2014 Super Rugby championship, said “there is no doubt” he was ready for a return.

Most importantly, Force coach Simon Cron, who previously worked with Beale during his time at the Waratahs as the franchise’s forwards coach, was convinced too.

“With the recent injury to Harry Potter the door opens for Kurtley to join our squad,” Cron said.

“He will add valuable experience and rugby brains to our playing group.

“Kurtley has reached the top of the game during his playing career, playing at three World Cups, bringing up almost 100 Wallabies caps and winning a Super Rugby title.

“He also has very positive relationships with some of our existing squad members which was important in the decision.”

Australia’s Kurtley Beale (right) wants to become the first Indigenous player to play 100 Tests for the Wallabies. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

New Force chief executive Niamh O’Connor said she saw Beale as an integral part of the ambitious Super Rugby franchise’s plans for success.

“We know where we want to take the Club and Kurtley is an exciting addition in our plans for growth and success,” O’Connor said.

“Throughout our discussions with Kurtley, he’s shown us his burning determination and passion for the game. He’s very keen to make the most of this opportunity to play Super Rugby again.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Kurtley and his young family to the Club.”

Beale, who has been rocked in recent weeks following the death of his brother, said he was grateful to the Force for the opportunity to continue his career.

“I’m excited to join the Force and I’m looking forward to making the move to Perth with my family,” Beale said.

“There’s enormous potential across the Force’s playing group and I’m eager to support the momentum they’re building. I know I have plenty to offer and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue playing the game that I love.”

While Beale has made a quick return to Super Rugby, he will have a tougher task convincing Joe Schmidt he should be a part of his Wallabies plans going forward.

If he can though, Beale could press to become the first Indigenous player to play 100 Tests for the Wallabies.

Beale will likely compete with Max Burey for a starting spot in the side at the Force, with both players capable of playing at fly-half and fullback.

But it’s the experience Beale will offer that Cron will be keen to tap into as much as his ability with ball-in-hand.

Just as pressing for Cron is how to give his backline a chance after his forward pack were demolished by the Blues in Auckland on Friday night.

Missing a host of tight-five players, including Harry Hooper, Atu Moli, Izack Rodda and new skipper Jeremy Williams, the Force copped another blow on the eve of the match with Santiago Medrano with concussion.

The absence of the key forwards meant the Blues, led by Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Angus Ta’avao, as week as brilliant back-rowers Akira Ioane, Dalton Papai’i and Hoskins Sotutu went straight through the Force.

Acting skipper Nic White said the Force simply needed to reset.

“We knew the contact zone was going to be important to us, we just didn’t win enough of those,” White said.

“They’re a big side, everyone knows that, we tried to move them around. We probably didn’t do that enough.

“Sometimes you’ve got to fight fire with fire sometimes and we lost most the majority of the upfront battles, so it’s tough on the back foot.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.