Beale wary of ‘unpredictable’ second-string France

Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale has warned Australia against a “very unpredictable and exciting” France ahead of a Test series in which the visitors are lacking a host of first-choice players.

Beale (32), who has just finished his first season at Top 14 side Racing 92, has been omitted from the Wallabies squad for the series starting in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Les Bleus have sent a second-string squad to Australia without many regulars, including players from Top 14 finalists Toulouse and La Rochelle, who would not have had time to complete Australia’s coronavirus entry quarantine.

“It’s an exciting bunch. They always play an unpredictable style that if you are lazy, not focused or not switched on they will pounce and create opportunities that leave you 15-20 points behind,” Beale told AFP.

“You can’t blink an eye against them.

“They play a brand of rugby that is exciting, that everybody likes to watch. They’re obviously doing something right there,” he added.

Beale last played for his country in the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to England.

Australia coach Dave Rennie said last month he was against selecting foreign-based players. Yet, Beale said he still hopes to appear again for his country.

“I’ve never said I was done with the Wallabies or with international rugby,” the former Waratahs playmaker said.

“There has been no contact with the coaches back home,” he added.

The 2023 World Cup will be held in France and Beale said playing alongside stars such as Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell and France centres Virimi Vakatawa and Gael Fickou at his club can help him earn a fourth appearance in the tournament.

“That’s definitely a goal of mine. To play another World Cup. If I can do that in France that can be fantastic,” he said.

“That’s something I want to keep pushing for. I know I have a lot of great players from international players around me.

“I’m still learning, pushing hard for spots. That hunger is still there to represent my country,” he said.

© Agence France-Presse

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