Wallabies star Kurtley Beale is happy being the Mr Adaptable of the NSW Waratahs’ backline.
That’s probably a good thing as new coach Daryl Gibson continues to keep his backline troops guessing about which positions they will occupy this Super Rugby season.
Gibson is expected to switch his backs around in their two remaining trials in New Zealand against the Chiefs and Highlanders.
Beale, who has played primarily at inside centre for the Waratahs over the past two years, has been running at five-eighth in the pre-season.
“I consider myself very adaptive and I’ll take the opportunity wherever it comes,” Beale said on Wednesday.
“When I get that first crack either at 10, 12, 15, from there on, it’s just about trying to nail that position down pat.
“I feel over the last few years, I’ve been pretty adaptive to wherever I’ve been put on the field and I consider that as a strength of my game.”
Beale was impressive at last year’s World Cup, although he only started two of Australia’s seven Tests and came off the bench for the remainder.
He hoped his versatility would be a help rather than a hindrance in securing a Test berth this year.
Beale is likely to spend some time at five-eighth in his first trial hitout of the campaign against the Chiefs on Friday in Rotorua.
Waratahs and Wallabies pivot Bernard Foley is not scheduled to play until the final trial the following week, as he has a short break after playing club rugby in Japan.
“I’ve told him (Gibson) I will be keen to play there (five-eighth) if Bernard’s not there. Otherwise, I’ll be open to any position he wants to put me in,” Beale said.
Beale has played some of his best rugby for the Waratahs and Wallabies from fullback and could be headed there again if Gibson perseveres with his planned experiment of playing Israel Folau in the No.13 jersey.
“I think if he’s in the frontline, I will definitely push myself to the back but, then again, who knows?” Beale said.
“It’s great that we can swap and change and keep the opposition guessing. I think that’s what it’s all about.”
Although there seems to be a plethora of options for Gibson in his use of Beale, the player isn’t necessarily in any hurry to end his dual playmaking combination with Foley.
“Bernard and I have struck up a good combination at 10 and 12 the last couple of years,” Beale said.
“I’d like to cement myself there.”
He said he learnt a lot from his World Cup experience and looks certain to play more of a leadership role at the Tahs this year.