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Waratahs set for major blow as Kurtley Beale eyed up by French club

By Online Editors
(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The Waratahs are set for a major blow in the wake of reports that veteran utility back Kurtley Beale is close to signing a deal in France.

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A report from the Daily Telegraph indicates that the 31-year-old star, who will captain the Waratahs for the first time in his career on Friday when his side faces the Chiefs in Wollongong, is set to depart for Top 14 club Racing 92.

While his exit to Europe will leave a gaping hole in the New South Wales squad, the 92-test veteran should still be available for international selection with the Wallabies after having met the 60-cap threshold required for overseas-based players.

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That is, however, provided that Rugby Australia don’t alter the Giteau Law which would make Beale eligible for selection while playing abroad.

According to reports earlier this week, Australia’s governing body is expected to review its eligibility rules ahead of July’s test series between the Wallabies and Ireland in Brisbane and Sydney.

The review of the eligibility system could work in Beale’s favour, though, as reports indicate that RA may look to halve the 60-cap threshold to allow the likes of midfielder Samu Kerevi and loose forward Sean McMahon to return to the national set-up.

Fox Sports also reports that Beale may not be the only Australian-based Wallaby with his sights set on France, as Melbourne Rebels duo Matt Philip and Luke Jones are expected to sign with Top 14 club Pau.

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The loss of three internationally capped players in the form of Philips, Jones and Beale would come at a difficult time for Super Rugby, which is experiencing a raft of challenges to maintain fan interest as well as star power within playing ranks.

These challenges include falling crowds and television audiences, geographical and time zone obstacles and threats from cashed up clubs in Europe – such as Racing 92 and Pau – and Japan.

In other news:

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Red and White Dynamight 2 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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