Rugby news | Drew Mitchell agreement that earned Kurtley Beale Wallabies debut revealed


Kurtley Beale has detailed how a cheeky pact he made with long-time friend Drew Mitchell earned him his first Wallabies cap.

Touted then as a star of the future, Beale was selected for the annual spring tour of Europe in 2009.

From the bench, the then 20-year-old made his way onto the Millennium Stadium field in the dying minutes of the match against Wales.

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In a Stan-produced feature – Kurtley: My Story – Mitchell revealed the sneaky agreement he had made with Beale.

“We played in similar positions and no one likes to ride the pine for 80 minutes, especially when you haven’t been capped,” Mitchell explained.

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“To be capped you need to get onto the field. This isn’t the first time that it’s happened, but for a long time there’s been agreements that if the game is not in the balance, and if there’s still some time on the clock, then you take a knee, and you tell the physio ‘I’m no good, get me off’. 

“I think I had a quad. He [the physio] said ‘Your quad’s fine’ I said ‘no, it’s not fine, get me off!’ And then we shared a little hug as you were going on.”

Beale laughed at Mitchell’s recollection of the sly substitution, which opened the floodgates for a prosperous career.

The Blacktown-born player explained he had worked extra hard to make his way into the side after then-coach Robbie Deans pulled him up.

“I remember, Robbie Deans says ‘Mate, you’ve just got to be fitter. You’re just not sharp enough, you just don’t have that speed that we want’,” Beale recalled.

“I went away, packed on a bit of extra kilos, and had kind of gone away from my strengths in the game, which is that speed, agility, sharpness, the ability to beat defenders. 

“I just didn’t have that. I got my weight down and played in a few of the mid-week games on the Wallabies tour, and yeah, got the opportunity against Wales. We had some great players that year; 2009. 

“We did have an agreement midweek,” he chuckled.

Beale is in the midst of preparations for the forthcoming Super Rugby Pacific season with the Waratahs.

The 33-year-old is targeting a return to the Wallabies side for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

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