Wallaby star ditches team ahead of Super Rugby AU
NEWS: Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has reportedly requested an early release from his Waratahs contract and wants out of Australia’s new Super Rugby competition.
The 31-year-old Beale said last month he had signed a contract in France with Racing 92 from next season.
The Waratahs on Sunday refused to comment but it’s understood the 31-year-old has been granted the release before his impending move.
Beale has signed a two-season deal with Top 14 side Racing 92 and was due to leave Australia at the end of the year.
The classy utility’s departure will leave champion flanker Michael Hooper as the sole remaining survivor of the Waratahs’ 2014 title-winning Super Rugby team.
Beale has been the heart and soul of the Waratahs for more than a decade, their most influential playmaker since debuting as an 18-year-old in 2007.
He was the Tahs’ starting flyhalf in the 2008 final loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch and played 148 games for the franchise during three stints either side of cameos with the Melbourne Rebels and English Premiership side Wasps.
But by his own admission, the one-time World Player of the Year nominee and 2011 John Eales Medallist as Australia’s premier player had been down on form before Super Rugby went into COVID-19 shutdown this season.
A 92-Test stalwart, Beale remains eligible for the Wallabies but he wasn’t included in new national coach Dave Rennie’s preliminary players-of-national-interest squad.
After a three-month break, the Waratahs are set to play the Queensland Reds in the opening match of the new Australian Super Rugby competition on July 3 at Suncorp Stadium.