Kurtley Beale ready to fire for Tahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kurtley Beale ready to fire for Tahs

By Russell Jackson 14/04/2011 05:12:19 PM Comments (0)

Kurtley Beale had plenty of spring in his step at NSW training on Thursday - enough to suggest to his good friend Drew Mitchell that his focus was back on rugby just a day after his lucrative signing with Melbourne Rebels was made public.

And Beale's mind will have to be on the footy field because the Waratahs face a huge test when they travel to Eden Park in Auckland for their Super Rugby match-up with the Blues on Saturday.

Beale's two-year deal with the Rebels, which commences next year, will reportedly allow him to earn up to $1 million a season.

The 22-year-old made an emotional address to team-mates before their training run on Thursday and Mitchell, who Beale confided in over the Rebels' deal, could see the change in his mate from the night before.

"I'm pretty tight with Kurtley and I was his roommate until he walked out on me. We talk about those things (contracts) but at the same time he's got my word," Mitchell said.

"I caught up with him last night and I think now there is that feeling of relief of just being able to not worry about that anymore.

"Just his demeanour today, his spirits are up, and he's in a very good mood and hopefully that transfers into a good performance on Saturday.

NSW coach Chris Hickey has named 19-year-old winger Tom Kingston to make his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs against the Blues.

And with regular centre Tom Carter still sidelined with a hamstring injury, back-up five-eighth Daniel Halangahu has been named at inside centre in the all-important match.

The Blues boast a potent backline that includes All Blacks star Joe Rokocoko on the right wing and dynamic Rene Ranger on the left wing.

"They've played a lot of good footy this year and pose a lot of threats across the park," Mitchell said.

"It's always tough going over to Eden Park.

"But we're confident with the team we're taking over there to test these guys and hopefully we can take a little bit of the momentum from the Force game."

The Waratahs have struggled in Auckland, having just one win there from six trips.

NSW are coming off a clinical 31-3 win over the Force to lift them to 5-2 for the season while the Blues are well-rested after the bye and looking to win their sixth game of the year.

Prior to their break, the Blues edged out the Cheetahs 29-22.

The Blues, who have only lost one game this year, welcome back powerhouse flanker Jerome Kaino into their quality pack while the Waratahs will be without skipper Phil Waugh again, due to a calf strain.

The Waratahs are just three points behind Queensland in the battle for the top place in the Australian conference while the Blues are behind the Crusaders in the New Zealand conference.

The Blues scored a thrilling 24-22 victory over the Crusaders in round one.

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