Waratahs urge Kurtley Beale to reject blockbuster move to England
The New South Wales Waratahs urged Wallabies star Kurtley Beale to stay put on Friday after he reportedly accepted an offer from Wasps that would make him the highest paid player in English rugby.
A report in The Times newspaper said utility back Beale will join Wasps on a two-year, £1.5 million (HK$16.8 million) contract.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said the long-rumoured move was “unconfirmed” and he urged the in-form Beale, 27, to stick with the Sydney club.
“It’s unconfirmed at this stage and as far as I’m concerned he’s still staying and I can’t add anything more than I already know and that is that he’s still undecided,” Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“For us we’d love him to stay. He's been playing spectacularly well and I’m sure in his own mind he knows that it’s going to be a difficult decision for him.
“I know what we can provide here and we’ve got to hope that he can see that as well."
Michael Hooper, captain of the Super Rugby side, said he was also unaware of reports about Beale’s departure, but added that it would be a massive loss if true.
“Happy for him as an individual. The ability to make those decisions is all part of rugby, but for me selfishly, probably disappointing," Hooper told the newspaper.
“This thing isn’t just a flash in the pan, it’s been going on for a while and he’s been playing great on the field despite that.”
Asked whether a player of Beale’s calibre could be replaced, Hooper said: “No. You can’t replace Kurtley Beale, you get something different.”
Beale’s 60 international caps mean he would still be eligible for Wallabies selection even if he is playing his club rugby abroad.