Beale matches Tahs Super Rugby appearance record

· Super Rugby
by Waratahs Media

Sunday afternoon at GIO Stadium will be the 148th time Kurtley Beale has stepped out in NSW Waratahs colours, equalling the record of former teammate, Benn Robinson.

It’s a huge achievement for Beale, who was unaware of exactly how close he was to all-time record for his home state.

In all, Beale has 162 Super Rugby caps to his name (14 for the Rebels) and took some time to reflect when speaking with media earlier this week.

“Obviously (it’s a) proud milestone, it’s a major achievement,” Beale said.

“Your first cap is pretty special, your first trip to Africa is quite special; that was almost my first trip overseas as a young kid from western Sydney and to be on a rugby tour was quite eye-opening.

"But then you've got games like the '08 (Super Rugby) grand final.

"I happened to start at No.10 and we lost, and I got syndesmosis, I got injured in that game, but it was certainly a great experience.

"That was a special year to be a part of, to be playing in front of your home fans at the SFS, packed house, created so many great memories there.

"And I guess along the way you play with some greats of the game as well. I was very fortunate to play alongside Phil Waugh, Lote Tuqiri, Dan Vickerman, Al Baxter, Robbo; the list could go on.

"As a player, you reflect and just sit back and appreciate those times."

Those thoughts of what has come before also bring light to the here and now, with Beale playing a significant role in the Waratahs 2020 squad – as vice captain and mentor to a slew of young, talented backs.

It’s a role he’s relishing and he said his journey – both provincially and internationally – grows in significance as the years pass by.

“Yeah I just think as you mature as a player you realise how much playing for your country really means to you,” he said.

“Being home, playing for your state, being born in Sydney, all those [things] start to hit home a bit more and you want to try and achieve as much as you can in those jerseys for as long as you can, and I think that’s my main driver at the moment.

“And I think you learn to appreciate how amazing it is to represent the Waratahs and the Wallabies. 

“[So] that’s been [one] of my big drivers is to try and achieve so much here in the game in Australia, for my state and for my country, as much as I can. 

“At the same time, making sure that you’re leaving something behind for the next generation to aspire to and have that positive impact going forward.”

“It’s important as one of the senior guys with all this experience, it’s important to make sure we’re doing that; that’s my main focus and driver.

“Obviously this year has been a bit of a tough start, some changes that have taken a bit of a slow time to adjust to. But I feel like we’re not far off. And what’s important for my role is to continue working hard and rubbing off on the young guys coming through, and making sure that we’re driving the right standards around the group so we can actually achieve something that we’re all very proud of at the end of the year.”