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Cheika praises exemplary Beale

04th February 2014 10:24

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Top marks: Kurtley Beale

Waratahs boss Michael Cheika has hailed Kurtley Beale's attitude in pre-season training ahead of the new Super Rugby season.

Beale has returned to Sydney after two years with the Melbourne Rebels, were he was dogged by off-field issues and injuries.

Now refocused and apparently setting an example in pre-season, Cheika has praised the talented 25-year-old for his attitude and work-rate.

''I can't fault him in his preparation. We knew that the spotlight would be on him, but like I said at the start, I'm not a life coach,'' Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

''This is about footy and if he's doing his job around footy - and he seems to be doing that off the field, too, because every interaction I've had with him has been positive - he's really hungry to play.''

Beale will be up against Australia international Bernard Foley for the number ten jersey at the Tahs, with Cheika underlining the selection at fly-half would be made on form alone.

''When you've got guys and you know what they're about and what they've got, you go on their form,'' added Cheika.

''The form I've got so far around number ten is that Bernard Foley had a great season last year and he's obviously the incumbent in that position.

"Kurtley can play different positions, as can Bernard, and I want to see how both of them go playing trial matches and in different combinations.''

Beale's recovery though has been a major positive for Cheika, who insisted that nobody was perfect but it was about how players bounce back.

''Like all of us, off the field, we have our moments,'' stated Cheika.

''I wouldn't say I have the perfect life around my own stresses and the things that can sometimes get to you when you're by yourself.

"He's trained the house down, he's come back from injury early, he played the most minutes the other day along with Jono Lance [in the Tahs' trial loss to the Rebels], and he's fit. For me, he has been an example.''

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