Beale signs new deal with Australian Rugby Union
Scrum.com
February 13, 2008

NSW Waratahs flyhalf Kurtley Beale has today signed a new one-year deal with Australian Rugby and NSW Rugby Union.

Beale, who made his Waratahs debut against the Lions in Johannesburg in the first round of the 2007 Investec Super 14 season, has extended his commitment to rugby until the end of 2009 and further adds to the growing depth of Australia's flyhalf potential.

A schoolboy prodigy, the 19-year old appeared 10 times for the Waratahs in his debut professional season last year and highlighted his growing reputation as one of rugby's hottest prospects with a brilliant individual try against the Cheetahs in round three on his full debut at No.10.

Representative honours soon followed when he was selected in the Australia A squad for their inaugural Pacific Nations Cup campaign, coming off the bench in the first three matches against Tonga, Japan and Samoa.

The young flyhalf was also the star of the Mazda Australian Rugby Championship last year, leading the Western Sydney Rams to the minor premiership and taking out the Player of the Tournament award.

Beale said he is pleased to have reached an agreement prior to the season commencing and now wants to focus on the year ahead.

"I'm really happy to have this behind me before the season kicks off and it's great we've been able to come to an agreement with the Waratahs and the ARU," Beale said.

"I still have a lot more to achieve in Rugby, and I'm backing myself over the next two seasons to be in a position to make the next step.

"With this out of the way I can get on with playing footy and I'm really excited about the year ahead."

NSW Waratahs Head Coach Ewen McKenzie said Beale's re-signing was great news for NSW and Australian Rugby and he was looking forward to continuing the ongoing development of Kurtley's flyhalf potential.

"Everyone could tell from a young age that Kurtley had a wealth of talent. We signed him at 16 years of age, with the vision he could be a long-term solution for the troublesome No.10 position at the Waratahs, and he's already proving to be that," McKenzie said.

"It's great that not only will he start the season for us this week at flyhalf, but the announcement he has re-signed is great news."

"We can continue to develop him here at NSW, and we hope he'll be with us long-term term."

"For him personally, I'm sure pursuing his Rugby career at the Waratahs is the best stepping stone for him towards becoming a Wallaby."

ARU High Performance General Manager, Pat Howard said the re-signing of Beale is an exciting prospect for both NSW Rugby Union and Australian Rugby.

"Kurtley's talents have been well-known for a number of years and we see this as a very exciting signing for the Waratahs, where he has established himself as first choice flyhalf in just a short period of time," Pat Howard said.

"From an Australian perspective, Kurtley now has a genuine opportunity to put his hand up for the flyhalf position vacated by Stephen Larkham's retirement.

"Kurtley's re-signing today just adds to the exciting potential we have in Australia for the Wallabies number 10 jersey."

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