Sunday 25 August 2019

Kurtley Beale 'surprised' that photo of him posing in his budgie smugglers alongside Prince William went viral

Australia's Kurtley Beale, wearing budgie smugglers, poses with Prince William CREDIT: INSTGRAM/KURTLEY_BEALE
Australia's Kurtley Beale, wearing budgie smugglers, poses with Prince William CREDIT: INSTGRAM/KURTLEY_BEALE

Matt McGeehan

Australia's Kurtley Beale enjoyed posing in his swimming trunks alongside the Duke of Cambridge, but is now focused on dethroning England at Twickenham.

The 28-year-old back was preparing for an ice bath after the Wallabies' 29-21 win over Wales last Saturday when the Duke - patron of the Welsh Rugby Union - popped into the changing rooms to congratulate the visitors.

Beale seized the photo opportunity and shared the image with his 66,000 Instagram followers alongside the caption: "When you rock up to the party feeling a little over dressed."

Basketball great Shaquille O'Neal doctored the photo with his own face to share with his 6.5 million Instagram followers, sending the image viral.

As preparations began for Saturday's clash with England, Beale told a media conference on Monday: "I didn't really realise how much it was going to take off. It's a bit of a surprise for me.

"It was pretty lucky. He (the Duke) came in the sheds and said g'day to the boys, which was pretty cool.

"I just came from the recovery room. I recover in ice baths. I love playing in my budgie smugglers, so they were the last things that I was wearing.

"I just happened to be taking it easy and it was pretty good to have a yarn with him in the sheds. It's always special when you meet royalty."

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Prince Harry, the Duke's brother, is patron of the Rugby Football Union, but Beale's focus is on the field on Saturday, rather than what any possible celebrations might bring.

The Wallabies beat England at Twickenham in the 2015 World Cup, but have lost their last four matches to Saturday's hosts.

Beale missed all of those Tests in 2016 with a knee injury, but even his stint in England with Wasps has not changed his appraisal of the hosts' approach.

"In the Premiership there is a huge focus around going forwards and being physical up front to lay that platform for your backs," Beale added.

"England have always had that dominant forward pack and they're pretty smart and creative around that set-piece.

"We've definitely got the work cut out for ourselves. It's something we'll be working really hard to try to nullify."

Eddie Jones' England have lost just once in 21 matches - at Ireland in March - and are unbeaten at Twickenham.

It will take a far better performance than last Saturday's against Argentina when the Wallabies are in opposition.

Australia are on a high following last Saturday's win over Wales - their 13th in a row - and October's Bledisloe Cup defeat of New Zealand, the two-time world champions, plus a win in Japan.

All the talk is of England building for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, but that is Australia's aim too.

Beale added: "It's exciting times for us, as a playing group, a young group. Coming up against a pretty good English team is going to be a great test for us."

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