Dedicated Beale stunned by award
Wallabies full-back Kurtley Beale says good old fashioned hard work is responsible for his rapid rise to the top of the Australian rugby tree.
The 22-year-old capped a remarkable 12 months when he edged out hooker Stephen Moore to win the prestigious John Eales medal at Sydney's Luna Park on Thursday night.
"If you are going to strive for something and reach your goals at the end of the day, hard work gets you where you want to be," Beale said.
"I've got good support around me who have helped me get through the ups and downs.
"You always learn from what you do in the past, you always try to figure out ways to better yourself.
"It's still surprising but I'm very honoured to receive the award. I couldn't have done it without all the boys in the squad."
After spending the first half of the 2010 Super Rugby season on the Waratahs bench, Beale embarked on a new fitness regime that saw him shed several kilograms.
He forced his way back into the NSW line-up in the unfamiliar number 15 jersey and was rewarded with his first run-on start for the Wallabies against Fiji last June - the rest is history.
Beale claimed 127 votes to finish just clear of Moore (122) and 2010 winner David Pocock (100).
The John Eales Medal is voted by the players and is awarded to the most outstanding contributor over the previous 12-month period.