AKL9S | Beale hopeful of short-form success
Signing on with the Sharks in November of 2014, Gerard Beale arrived at Cronulla looking for an opportunity to seal his place in a back line brimming with talented youth.
And after overcoming several injuries throughout his career prior to his Sharks move, Beale would make his first apperance in the Black, White and Blue at 2015's Auckland Nines tournament - so very nearly earning a trophy inside three months of putting pen to paper with the Club.
A model of consistency in the Sharks outside stocks last season, Beale would not miss a game in his maiden year, forging a damaging combination with his outside man Valentine Holmes.
But better for the run having now well and truly settled in the Shire, Beale hopes to kick-start an explosive 2016 season with a strong showing at February's Auckland Nines tournament - if selected to travel and play at Eden Park.
"I hope I get to play, I'll find out soon enough," Beale said.
"I got the chance to play last year, and to make it all the way to the Grand Final, it was awesome. I'd love to do it all again, and hopefully go one step further."
Arriving back into the Sharks mix having missed the early parts of pre-season training - overseas with the Kiwi's National side touring England - the 25-year-old centre returned to the fold and was met by the squad's 'Torture Test', in December.
"I was thrown into the deep end," Beale laughed.
"In saying that, (pre-season) has been tough, but you wouldn't want it any other way.
"It's a really good sign for the team, that the boys this year are well ahead of where they were last year."
Although not selected to play for the Kiwis in their three-match series against England, Beale returns to Shark Park better for the tour experience, mixing with some of the game's elite upon the five week venture.
"It was an awesome experience, whenever you get the opportunity to go away with the national side - for me with New Zealand - I really learnt a lot, to go over to the UK," Beale said.
"I really took a lot out of it, and I'll bring that back to the Sharks.
"Guys like (Roger) Tuivasa-Sheck, the Bromwich boys, the whole side really ... training alongside those guys, made me really excited to strap the boots back on for the Sharks."
With Beale and the rest of the Sharks set to return to training on January 6th, the centre says the 'good vibes' amongst the playing group hold the side in good stead heading into the truncated competition.
"Im excited, and obviously the new guys are as well," he said
"The new players have fitted in really well, so the boys are all really excited and champing at the bit to get out there."