Rugby union bad boy landing on team’s radars in wake of Durban incident.
Teams from both rugby league and union are watching how the Melbourne Rebels deal with wayward star Kurtley Beale very closely in the hope of snapping up the playmaker soon.
Beale, along with Rebels teammates Cooper Vuna, were sent home early from a trip to South Africa after getting into a drunken punch-up after their record-loss to the Sharks last weekend.
Both Vuna and Beale are set to face a disciplinary hearing over the matter, but that has not stopped the New South Wales Waratahs and the St George Illawarra Dragons from taking an interest in the five-eighth.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika talked up the Beale’s ability but said the club had not approached him about a possible return to NSW.
”Obviously he’s had a rough weekend so I’m not sure where that’s going to fall, but from my point of view I’m working on the retention of our program for the roster next year and I’ll see what comes of that before focusing on the newer guys,” Cheika told smh.com.au.
”There’s no doubt about the guy as a player, he’s a superbly skilled player and I can see that.”
While Cheika said he would prefer to retain his current squad, the allure of teaming Beale with Israel Folau, who are both managed by the same agent, is tempting.
The other major player for Beale’s services, if his contract with the Rebels is torn up or allowed to run out next year, are the Dragons.
Winless after just three rounds and looking devoid of any spark in attack, it is understood the Dragons have made tentative inquiries about Beale, who comes from a rugby league background.
“I’m a massive fan of rugby league and I played it all my junior career and I’m always switching channels to watch it on the weekend. Hopefully later on, in the years to come, I will be able to put my hand up and have a crack at it,” Beale said in an interview earlier this year.
St George had seemingly been at the front of the pack to sign another troubled star, Josh Dugan, but recent reports suggest he is closer to become a part of the Brisbane Broncos.
League legend Brad Fittler threw his support behind Beale joining any NRL team, saying his natural skills would transfer well to the other code.
”He comes from rugby league, he’s a pretty good athlete, he’d be good,” Fittler said.
”He’d be good enough at most sports if he started it young enough.”