Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Cheika to be honest with Beale

Michael Cheika has vowed not to play "social worker" to controversy-plagued Australia utility back Kurtley Beale.

The Wallabies boss pledged Beale will pay his near £25,000 fine for sending a lewd text to former business manager Di Patston, amid suggestions the 25-year-old was yet to comply with his punishment.

Beale will take a seat on the bench for Australia's autumn Test clash with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, rehabilitated into the Wallabies squad after his two-match ban and fine.

Coach Ewen McKenzie and administrator Patston both resigned last month over Beale's clashes with Australia's former business manager.

New Wallabies head coach Cheika said he will prize honesty most highly in his dealings with Beale, whom he kept in line at the Waratahs.

"When he came to the Waratahs I never claimed I was going to be his social worker, I'm just a rugby coach," said Cheika.

"So it's honesty, straightforwardness, directness, putting him exactly in the picture of what's required and what's not needed

"And I've found that that works to get the best out of him and also a really good, honest relationship.

"No one's ever going to be 100 per cent perfect, me included, there's no doubt there.

"But if you're honest, more often than not, and it's in the open then you can usually get a resolution.

"So there are no excuses for what happened.

"And I know that in the time that he was with us in the Waratahs he was impeccable, but there's still no excuse for what happened.

"It was inappropriate, he's been through that process and got himself back on track now, and fit, and he's over here to play, and hopefully we'll be able to help him regain a bit more support for the right reasons, and not be maligned for the wrong ones.

"I didn't know he hadn't paid his fine, I look after the footy things.

"There is certainly no one trying to cheat the system.

"The man did the wrong thing, went to the tribunal, is now available, he'll pay his fine and he will play his rugby."

Former Leinster coach Cheika said he will not try to interfere with Australia's long-standing policy of refusing to select overseas-based stars.

That means the likes of Toulon pivot Matt Giteau will remain out of reach, but Cheika said anyone putting money ahead of Test glory does not warrant consideration for selection.

Cheika admitted it was a blow to have lost new Leinster recruit Kane Douglas to his Wallabies squad, revealing Australia Rugby Union (ARU) bosses are considering sabbaticals for top stars to offset further long-term losses.

"Obviously we did a lot to try to get Kane Douglas to stay in Australia who has just recently come to play for Leinster," said Cheika.

"The previous regime had a different idea on what they felt was required to keep him in Australia and he decided to leave, and that's generally the marketplace of the game, now it's professional.

"The ARU is taking steps now to revisit some of its ideas going forward, I know they've been talking about sabbaticals and things like that for players, to try to keep more and more players in Australia.

"But at the end of the day there is a money difference I suppose in coming over here to play, but it's when you make that final decision that money's more important to you than playing for Australia.

"And when you make that decision it's time for someone else to play for Australia."


From Belfast Telegraph