England-bound flanker Dave Dennis says it’d be great for the NSW Waratahs to retain Kurtley Beale but understands the playmaker’s frustrations amid talk his mooted multi-million-dollar contract with Wasps has fallen through.
Beale had been set to take up a $2.7 million two-year deal that would make the backline utility the highest-paid player in the English Premiership before reports emerged in recent weeks that negotiations had reached a stalemate.
The latest speculation has Wasps sounding out Welsh and British Lions fullback Leigh Halfpenny instead, leaving Beale to presumably stay in Sydney with the Waratahs.
“It’s probably just a little bit frustrating for Kurtley that it has taken so long to sort out, whether he is going or not,” Dennis said on Thursday.
“But if you look at the way he’s playing footy, it doesn’t seem to be affecting him because he’s been really good for us.”
While Beale’s playing future beyond 2016 has been up in the air for months, Dennis announced before the Super Rugby season started that he was heading to Exeter on a three-season deal at the end of his 10th campaign with the Waratahs.
“I sorted mine nice and early for the reason that I didn’t want to disrupt my season and I just wanted to get it out of the way before the season started and be clear in terms of my movements over the next six to 12 months,” Dennis said.
“I’m not too sure where he’s at. I know there’s an opportunity for him but, if that falls through, it’s a pretty good result for Australian rugby if he stays here.
“I know how much he’s respected here at the club and, from a national team perspective as well, he’s highly respected among the players and staff.”