Tahs back Beale

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Tahs back Beale

Chris Hickey has hit back at Glen Ella saying he will give Kurtley Beale time to develop.

Ella slammed the Waratahs’ recent loss to the Brumbies and pinpointed Beale as the problem. In response, the Waratahs coach has voiced his support for his flyhalf and will start Beale against the Crusaders this Saturday.

‘I thought he played fine,’ Hickey told The Sydney Morning Herald. ‘There wasn’t anything Kurtley did or didn’t do which cost us that game. It’s a work in progress, and we’re happy with the progress that Kurtley is making in terms of his game development.

‘A lot of people forget that people like him and Christian Lealiifano and Quade Cooper are only 19 or 20 [Lealiifano is 21]. It’s a lot of responsibility on them in running Super 14 teams, and Kurtley will be our starting flyhalf against the Crusaders. He understands where we’re coming from and understands he has the full support of the team.’

Staniforth set to face Sharks

Western Force utility back Scott Staniforth could be thrust into starting line-up for Saturday’s clash against the Sharks in Perth.

The Force are currently counting the cost of their 23-all draw with the Crusaders with Cameron Shepard the major concern.

Shepherd is set for a week on the sidelines after spraining his ankle when several players fell across his leg during a tackle, while fellow winger Nick Cummins (hamstring) is rated only a 50-50 chance to take on the Sharks, meaning Haig Sare and Staniforth could be given starting berths for this crucial game.

Staniforth, who underwent knee surgery during the off-season, has played just 12 minutes off the bench against the Cheetahs in round two.

Force prop Ben Castle has been cleared of any serious damage to his neck and shoulder and is likely to take his place against the Sharks.

Ella lays into Tahs

Former Wallabies backline coach Glen Ella has slammed the Waratahs coaching staff following their 21-11 defeat to the Brumbies.

The Waratahs looked completely off the pace in Canberra and a lot has been made of their failure to adopt an expansive style of play.

“They [the Waratahs] are getting bagged for negative rugby,” said Ella. “I have to agree with it. It’s not good enough. NSW Rugby need to have a look at that.”

Ella says Kurtley Beale’s game is off, but the NSW playmaker is not the only Waratah who is failing to deliver and Ella blames the coaches for that.

“The NSW coaching staff need to have a good look at themselves,” Ella said. “Obviously, [Beale] is not playing well, but I don’t think the team is really playing well.

“We keep on talking about the style of rugby they are playing. I know for certain that Kurtley wants to run the ball and play an expansive game. They just kick the ball too much. It is just a kickathon with NSW. They don’t do anything constructive.

“For the first 10 minutes [last Friday] it looked like they were going to run the ball against the Brumbies, but they then went straight back into their shell. They have got the best backline in Australia and they don’t run the ball.”

This thread will be updated throughout the day.