Kurtley Beale is hoping to have his future at the NSW Waratahs sorted very soon but for now the playmaker’s focus is on taking down Super Rugby surprise packets the Lions.
The Waratahs’ No.12 admits he is pleased with the way contract negotiations have progressed ahead of Saturday’s (Sunday morning AEST) clash with the Lions in Johannesburg.
“Let’s just say that all things are looking positive,” Beale told AAP.
The Waratahs are undergoing a huge overhaul as they prepare for the departure of coach Michael Cheika who will move exclusively to the Wallabies with assistant Daryl Gibson taking over as head coach from 2016.
“He’s (Gibson) a guy that’s helped me a lot along the way to try and develop my game and hopefully we can get something sorted soon on my future,” he said.
Beale, who returned to the Waratahs in 2014 after a stint with Melbourne, plays his 100th game for NSW this weekend.
“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family. It’s a credit to the staff at the Waratahs who have helped guide me and I can’t thank them enough … it’s been a fantastic journey so far,” he said.
The match is viewed by many, including Beale, as a danger game with the Lions having made a habit of feasting on rivals who have underestimated them this year.
They sit second on the South African conference and just two points behind leaders the Stormers with just three rounds remaining.
“They are a very unpredictable team with a lot of X-factor in their forwards and backs,” Beale said.
“When you play against the Lions, teams might get a bit complacent and think they are easybeats but watching them over the last couple of weeks, they have been very good and very consistent in the way they play.”
The Lions come into the game after belting the Cheetahs 40-17.
That followed a 30-20 loss to the Brumbies, a game which might provide a blueprint for the Waratahs to topple the Lions.
“‘Cheik’ has given us a really good understanding of how they are going to play and we’ve got a very good plan on how we are going to combat them,” he said.
The Waratahs, who lead the Australian conference going into round 16, are without the suspended Tolu Latu and Will Skelton for their controversial lifting tackle on Sam Whitelock, as well as Test hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who is being rested after his second concussion this season.
Jacques Potgieter returns from injury, but this remains a huge task for the defending Super Rugby champions, against a Lions outfit that needs to win to stay in the race for finals.