Rebels sign Kurtley Beale from NSW - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels sign Kurtley Beale from NSW

By Melissa Woods 13/04/2011 08:17:12 PM Comments (0)

Super Rugby surprise packets the Melbourne Rebels have pulled off their biggest shock of the year by signing one of the hottest players in world rugby, Kurtley Beale.

The Rebels have lured the NSW and Wallabies star to Melbourne for two years from 2012, in a major blow for the Waratahs.

Beale, who has been playing at five-eighth and fullback for the Waratahs, will officially announce the move on Thursday, however NSW coach Chris Hickey confirmed his departure.

"Kurtley will give his reasons when he makes his announcement but he has informed us of his decision," Hickey told AAP.

"What I want to stress is that this will happen in 2012 and in the meantime he's playing for the Waratahs and we expect him to make a significant contribution towards helping us to win the Super Rugby title."

The Rebels said they wouldn't confirm the signing until Beale and the Australian Rugby Union made an official announcement but the deal is believed to be for two years.

The new Melbourne franchise were tipped to go through their debut Super season winless after cobbling together a team mostly of ageing players and discards from other teams.

But since their round one humiliation, ironically at the hands of the Waratahs, they have chalked up their third win and sit above the Brumbies and Force on the Super ladder.

The 22-year-old was understood to have signed a handsome contract heavily boosted by third party deals, while it's believed the Rebels also impressed Beale with their plans to assist him to expand his work as an indigenous ambassador for the game - an area he's passionate about.

Signed by NSW as a schoolboy, Hickey said he was disappointed to lose a player of Beale's calibre, particularly as he had been a Waratah for five years and had already earnt 51 caps.

He completed a strong 2010 as one of the Wallabies' best and was a finalist in the International Rugby Board's player of the year awards.

"It's particularly disappointing because the Waratahs have played such a large part of Kurtley's career and we would have liked to have kept him," Hickey said,

"But quality players are always going to be difficult to keep."

The Rebels are believed to also be targeting Beale's very close friend, 20-year-old Wallabies and Force star James O'Connor.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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