London: Kurtley Beale is enjoying a roving in role the Wallabies backline as England coach Eddie Jones warned his side needed to nullify ‘s “wonderfully gifted player” when they face him on Saturday.
Coach Michael Cheika is yet to announce which jersey Beale will wear for this weekend’s game.
He has played the entire year at inside centre aside from ‘s past two games where he shifted to fullback to cover Israel Folau, who is not on the tour.
The versatility of the Wallabies backline is a major strength because players are able to shift between positions with ease – particularly Beale, who can inject himself into first receiver whenever he sees fits.
“I’m really enjoying the role I have at the moment,” Beale said. “It’s a bit of a roving role and I’ll play wherever the coaches see fit and think I play my best rugby [and] whatever’s the best for the team. As a backline we all have a good understanding of what is required in certain positions.”
Karmichael Hunt, who had a solid game off the bench against Wales in Cardiff, is vying for selection in what would be his first outing against England.
“With K, he brings a lot of class and lot of energy and a lot of calmness,” Beale said. “He is a great player with a lot of experience in different codes and he certainly has got a good head on his shoulders. He has added a lot to us for sure.
“It’s creating a lot of competition at training each week. It’s keeping us on our toes.”
Beale didn’t line up for the Wallabies last year because of a knee injury and he was contracted to Wasps for the December fixture.
Jones and his team will complete a thorough analysis of Beale, who was brilliant for throughout the Rugby Championship and had another all-round performance in Cardiff.
The 28-year-old never played under Jones at the Wallabies but is held in extremely high regard by the England coach.
“He’s the most wonderfully gifted player,” Jones said. “He does things other players don’t even dream of. He has that ability to make that big play.
“I think his stint at Wasps has aided him. He’s become a lot more professional, a lot more consistent. He adds that extra dimension that you don’t know where he’s going to turn up in attack. He does it with skill, he does it with pace and he does it with precision and a smile on his face. He’s an outstanding player. We’re going to have to really watch him carefully.”
While the sideshow of the week will be what Jones and Cheika have to say in the lead-up to the game, Beale believes it won’t steer players away from the task at hand.
“Everyone’s pretty used to it now,” Beale said. “A lot of the focus has just been on us. We’ve been approaching things game by game. We just need to keep building on the things that have been good for us. We want to finish the year off really well.”