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Beale Set for Positional Change at Waratahs

Wallabies back Kurtley Beale is set for a positional change in the upcoming season and will have more responsibility in the team according to head coach Rob Penny

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(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Waratahs back Kurtley Beale looks set to fill the boots of departing fly-half Bernard Foley during the upcoming Super Rugby season.

Foley, along with several other Wallabies are set to move overseas, with Foley heading to play in Japan, but now it seems as though regular full-back Beale will shift to out-half in what is an inexperienced team. 

Beale has previously played the role for the Waratahs during their 2008 season when the team went on to the final only to lose to the Crusaders, but has also been used in the position from time to time since so should be comfortable to slot in. 

However, even if he is to take up the role as the main playmaker, his responsibility in the team will be higher than before according to head coach Rob Penny, who will be relying on him and Michael Hooper to guide his young side. 

“Michael Hooper and Kurtley have certainly been the heart and soul here but for Australian rugby as well, with massive responsibility. I would envisage they would be desperate to make this team function as well as they can. So that’s why they are getting a bit of an extended break. Hopefully they are using that wisely, I am sure they are. They’ll come back excited to put boots on again,” he said. 

If he moves to fly-half and plays well it could well open up a positional change within the Australian national side too. 

There has been plenty of talk around who incoming head coach Dave Rennie will choose in the position when he takes over next summer, with many players sharing the jersey recently, with Christian Leal’lifano, Foley and Matt Toomua all wearing the jersey in the recent Rugby World Cup

It could be an interesting development for both the Waratahs and the Wallabies, but we will just have to wait and see what happens in the new year.

Super Rugby

Reds Tie-Down Flying Winger

The Queensland Reds have confirmed that one of their star men has signed a new contract with the franchise after becoming eligible for the Wallabies this year

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(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Fijian winger has put pen to paper on a new deal with the Queensland Reds in what is also a boost to the Australian national team.

The 24-year-old has been at the Reds since 2016 and has become eligible for the Wallabies due to his three-year stay and he has now committed to the club for another four-years.

His deal with the team runs until 2023, meaning he could feature for Australia at the Rugby World Cup that year if he can break into the squad in the meantime and he is delighted to be staying on. 

“I’m very happy to stay at Queensland. I’ve got a lot of good friends here. We’ve developed strong bonds together. We’re a big family at the Reds and I want to be a part of future success here,” he said. 

The former goalkeeper turned rugby star spent a long-period of last season on the sidelines with a broken arm and head coach Brad Thorn is excited to have him in the squad for the foreseeable future. 

“It’s great to see Filipo Daugunu stay in Queensland for another four years. He’s an amazing athlete. He’s powerful and has great agility. Filipo’s attacking ability has come a long way, but his biggest improvement has been his work in defence. Filipo’s come through the NRC with Queensland Country and continues to contribute to our program,” he said

Daugunu has played well for the Reds when available, finishing as their top try-scorer in the 2018 season and he will be hoping that he can have a similar impact in the 2020 Super Rugby season as he looks to impress new Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie.

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Rugby League

Rugby Australia Snap Up Fijian NRL Star

Rugby Australia have confirmed the signing of one of the most exciting Rugby League players on the planet

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(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds have announced the signing of Fijian NRL star Suliasi Vunivalu from Melbourne Storm.

The flying-winger has put pen to paper on a two-year deal which comes into effect in 2021, which will see him join the Reds in Super Rugby and switch back to Rugby Union. 

Speaking on the massive coup Rugby Australia’s director of rugby Scott Johnson is delighted that Vunivalu has signed up and is looking forward to what he can bring to the table. 

“This is a very good signing for Australian Rugby and the Reds. Suliasi was a standout schoolboy rugby player. He is an elite finisher with a lot of big-game experience for a young man and will have an immediate impact for the Reds in 2021 and put himself right in the frame for higher honours. He is one player we have been looking at very closely this year with the skillset we are looking for in the outside backs. He has been working in a great environment at the Storm and has chosen a future in rugby, so it is a great result for the game,” he said. 

The 24-year-old has been playing for Storm since 2016, and played in consecutive Grand Finals between 2016 and 2018, scoring a record-breaking number of tries in his first two seasons and currently having 72 tries in 94 appearances for the club. 

He will hope to add to that total over his final campaign with the club, while on the international stage he has 12 tries in only eight appearances for Fiji. 

He also played in New Zealand when he was younger for the Auckland Blues, before making the move to Storm and league at 18. 

It is a major boost for both the Super Rugby franchise and the Wallabies and if he can bring his league form to the union stage it could be something special.

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Super Rugby

Crusaders Star Out for Start of Season

The Crusaders have confirmed that much like the Blues and the Hurricanes that they will not have a full compliment of players come the start of the Super Rugby season due to injury

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The Crusaders have confirmed that up and coming back-rower Ethan Blackadder will miss at least the early stages of the 2020 Super Rugby season through injury.

Blackadder, who has only seven appearances for the reigning champions, dislocated his shoulder during the Mitre 10 Cup this year and will require surgery to amend the problem.

Although at 24 it seems as though seven appearances is not much, Blackadder has been smashing it while in the Mitre 10 Cup and during his showings for the Crusaders, but has been up against the likes of Kieran Read, Whetu Douglas, Jordan Taufua and Tom Sanders for a place in the pack.

This season was seen as a potential breakthrough one for the versatile forward, who can line-out at blindside-flanker or No 8, and is expected to be capped by the All Blacks once he gets a run at the top level.

However, he will have to wait a little longer for his chance to shine due to the injury.

The worrying part for him is that despite Read leaving the franchise, Cullen Grace, Ethan Roots and Sione Havili have all come in and will look to impress in his absence.

The hope will be that he can get back as soon as possible to stake his claim for a starting spot. His injury is the latest announced by a New Zealand-based Super Rugby side ahead of the new season with both the Blues and the Hurricanes confirming that Bayden Wardlaw and Ardie Savea will miss the season’s opening for their respective sides.

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