Last Man Standing

Kurtley Beale's progression to the Wallabies squad has proved that what timing Beale may lack on the field he more than makes up for with his timing off it.

Kurtley Beale was once the great hope of Australian Rugby. He made first grade at St Joseph's college when he was about 11 and represented the Australian Schoolboys for about 7 years straight. During that period neither team lost any games and Beale averaged about 6 tries and 12 succesful goal kicks per match. Indeed so good was he that opposition teams almost never even saw the ball and Beale was never required to make a tackle, an unfortunate Catch 22 that ultimately would hinder his later career at the Waratahs, tackling being something that they base their tactics around, not scoring tries which is Beale's strength.

The inevitable progression of Beale to the Wallabies and world domination was stymied by injuries, predominately a lack of them to Matt Giteau and Berrick Barnes and a flurry of them to Beale. It was injuries that saw him ruled out of any chance of last year's end of season European jaunt and then a major hamstring tear during the pool games of this year's Under 20 World Cup that led to the Junior Wallabies not winning the competition.

But events have overtaken Beale's fortunes. One match back from the hamstring tear, a stunning return for North Sydney that resulted in them losing by 20 points, and Beale was back in the Wallabies frame. The good fortune is that the Wallabies have learnt to lose again, Stirling Mortlock got injured and Robbie Deans is desperate to show that picking James O'Connor from nowhere was not a fluke.

So good luck to Kurtley Beale. Destiny has called. Just remember that potential should be limited to the drunk girls in bars and not the Rugby field.

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