Wallabies flank Michael Hooper has admitted to asking Ewen McKenzie to keep Kurtley Beale with the squad despite his in-flight bust-up.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has admitted to asking Ewen McKenzie to keep Kurtley Beale with the squad despite the player’s in-flight bust-up.
Versatile back Beale is believed to have been in an argument with Australian Rugby Union staff member Mike Doyle, after being told to change his T-shirt when Wallabies coach McKenzie and business manager Di Patston both intervened.
Patston has since flown home from Argentina while Beale remains with the squad, with Hooper explaining that he was keen for the player to stay.
“First of all, talking footy, [Beale] is a class player on the field,” the flanker told smh.com.au.
“Seeing him play, playing with him all year this year and in previous years, mainly in 2012, I can see what he can do and bring to the team.
“And then, off the field, he’s a great character to have, he’s a great team man. From our sense, moving forward, we wanted to be a team that can deal with that.”
He added on how the Wallabies would suffer on the field if Beale had been axed: “A quality playmaker (would have left), who I think can break games.”
“He’s a John Eales medallist, he won a John Eales Medal at full-back, played some great games at No.10 and won a Super title at No.12 this year, so he’s got a good rap sheet there.
“And then the guys really like him. You want these guys to stay around.”