Hoiles: You can't replace someone like Kurtley Beale
The Waratahs are on a high after leapfrogging the Brumbies to number one in the Australian conference but are still dealing with the loss of star playmaker Kurtley Beale for the remainder of the season.
Beale has been in career best form this season, and was rewarded with a $1.38 million per-season deal with English side Wasps, making him the highest paid player in the English Premiership.
Having won four matches in a row for the first time since 2014, the ‘Tahs are well placed heading into the back-end of the season but will need to find a replacement for Beale.
“You can’t replace someone like Kurtley Beale let’s be honest,” Former Wallaby and Waratahs forward Stephen Hoiles said to rugby.com.au.
“He’s probably the only player in Australian Rugby that has his skill set and his ability to play what’s in front of him.”
Although Beale will be “irreplaceable” for the Wallabies and Waratahs there are numerous players that will be able to step into the number 12 jersey.
“Dave Horwitz started the season at 12 when Bernard Foley was out so Dave will get first crack I assume,” Hoiles said.
“Israel Folau could jump in at 12, Rob Horne can play there, Matt Carraro, Zac Guildford who’s not in the match day 23 so there’s options at the ‘Tahs.
“You can’t expect them to be anything like Kurtley because he’s simply brilliant at the moment.”
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Head coach Daryl Gibson has already ruled out one potential replacement in Horne, who says is doing a fine job on the wing.
“I’m reluctant to move Rob,” Gibson said on Saturday night.
“He’s doing such a good job firstly in the midfield as a defender, where he’s very comfortable and leads that.
“But on the wing he’s certainly, I think, far more threatening there. Every time he gets the ball, he looks dangerous. I want him to play for Australia and I believe he can play there if I keep picking him.”
One man who can benefit from the Beale’s injury is Horwitz after his baptism of fire in Saturday’s win against the Bulls, replacing the injured Beale.
“(When you’re) not starting you want to get as much game time as possible but so unfortunate it happened in the circumstances, I don’t really want that,” Horwitz said.
Horwitz is ready and waiting to step up as Beale’s replacement if Gibson calls on him.
“Whatever make up Daryl goes with in the backline I’m sure we’ll do the job,” he said,
“If I get the nod, I’ll just continue to take the pressure off Bernard and be that second ball player.”