Joe Schmidt Weighs in on Kurtley Beale’s Return to Super Rugby

Joe Schmidt Weighs in on Kurtley Beale's Return to Super Rugby

Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt acknowledges the potential threat posed by veteran utility back Kurtley Beale but suggests he needs time to acclimate before being considered for national duty again. Joe Schmidt Weighs in on Kurtley Beale’s Return to Super Rugby

Beale, 35, made a return to Super Rugby Pacific last month after signing as a mid-season recruit for Western Force, following his stint with NSW club side Randwick in March. His return to the sport came after being found not guilty of rape and two counts of sexual touching.

Joe Schmidt Weighs in on Kurtley Beale's Return to Super Rugby

Schmidt, the former Ireland coach, recognizes Beale’s capabilities, having faced him in Test matches. He stated, “I’ve coached teams against Kurtley, and he’s shredded us… I know what he’s capable of.”

However, Schmidt emphasizes that Beale needs time to adjust, particularly since he’s joining a new team. “It takes a while to slot in and get comfortable,” he added.

Despite Beale’s recent return, Schmidt has heard positive feedback from Force halfback Nic White about the influence Beale has already had on the team, especially in his role as fullback.

“With his calmness and experience in the back field, it’s helping the guys in front of him, and then there’s his own athletic abilities that are very useful from the back,” Schmidt noted.

As Schmidt and his coaching staff evaluate players for the upcoming Wallabies’ Test against Wales on July 6, he acknowledges the challenges of cohesion due to recent changes in the team.

“On the back of last year, there were a number of changes during the year, and it just means there’s probably not as much continuity as I’d be used to… Everything takes time, particularly cohesion when you’re trying to build that relationship between players,” Schmidt explained.

While Schmidt is familiar with building cohesive teams from his experience with Ireland and New Zealand, he sees the fragmented nature of the current Wallabies squad as a new challenge. However, he is motivated to work through it, emphasizing that there are no short-term fixes in building a successful team.

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