Given the tenuous financial predicament of most Shute Shield clubs, Randwick said they were unable to help out. Since then, Beale has signed a deal with Land Rover and been handed the keys to a new car.
Rumours circulated throughout the day that Easts had lured Beale with the promise of a new car – through a club sponsorship – but they and their new recruit denied those murmurs emphatically.
Dwyer said he was flabbergasted Beale’s management would even ask the club for a car.
“Greed is not one of the most attractive qualities,” Dwyer said. “The clubs are not made of money so any call from a player, or the player’s manager, for a person who is in the million dollars a year bracket, to want a free car is a bit infra dig. We can spend our money a little bit more genuinely than that. I’d be a bit embarrassed for Kurtley to think that Kurtley’s name is being bandied around asking for something extra when clearly he’s got lots.”
Contacted on Wednesday evening by Fairfax Media, Beale denied he had asked Randwick for anything and stressed he was not being paid a cent by Easts.
“That’s all rubbish,” said Beale of the car allegation. “I don’t know why they would say it. Why are they saying this stuff? I’m only associated with a club, there wasn’t any money or cars involved. I certainly don’t need it.”
Beale also refuted Dwyer’s claim he hadn’t made contact with the club, saying that while he had not spoken to the former Wallabies coach or a number of others, he contacted general manager Travis Partridge.
“I gave him my reasons,” Beale said. “I said something to Pat Phibbs as well. I tried to get onto [first grade coach] Owen [Finegan] but they said they would pass the message onto him. You’d think the general manager would pass down the news but that’s not the case. It’s a bit disappointing.”
There was, however, a non-financial incentive for Beale to leave the Randwick, a club he has played only a handful of games at since 2010.
Easts’ new first grade coach is Pauli Taumoepeau, one of Beale’s closest mates. The pair played first XV rugby together at St Joseph’s College when Beale was in Year 10 and Taumoepeau in his final year of school.
“It boiled down to the fact he wanted to spend more time with Pauli, who has been a good mentor to Kurtley,” said Easts president John Murray.
Beale said just as much. “We built up a strong relationship over the years and he was one of my first guys that helped me get through the game at a young age. We’re pretty tight. We started chatting and I thought it was a good idea to reconnect with him and help out wherever I can and learn a little bit about how he likes to do things.
“There’s no other incentives and there’s no bitterness towards Randwick. They’re a great club with a great history and I really enjoyed my time there but for me moving forward I just saw it as a great opportunity to reconnect with Pauli.”
This furore in a tea cup shows just how much Randwick loved Beale and paints a picture of an acrimonious split between a golden child and a club who felt they had done so much for him.
“It’s really disappointing,” Dwyer said. “We’ve given him a lot of support at times when he’s had some difficulties. We’ve given the Aboriginal rugby community a lot of support and they’ve given us a lot. He is entitled to do what he wants and it’s a free world.
“Our club competition and clubs have a culture where we help one another. If a player wants to leave and was talking to the other club, they would ring us as say he’s talking to us. Maybe [Easts president] John Murray hasn’t been a part of the game for long enough to understand it. He [Beale] talks about his relationship with the coach at Easts. Well what about his relationship with all the indigenous blokes at Randwick? That’s been superseded has it? We’ll get over it, it’s not the end of the world.”
Tom Decent is a journalist with Fairfax Media.
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