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Kurtley Beale has sought a return to the Wallabies team in Rugby Championship and says he is ready to compete for the No 15 shirt with Andrew Kellaway.
Speaking on Monday at the Gold Coast, where the Wallabies unveiled their First Nations kit for the second Test against England on Saturday night in Brisbane, Beale said he was making good progress in his comeback from injury after playing in France had fallen to the ground.
Beale was drafted into the Wallabies’ squad for the Spring Tour in November of last season and has now returned home to join the Wallabies and Waratahs for next season. He has not been able to walk for five months due to a serious thigh injury.
“I’m still hurt. I’ll sort out a program, look at some scans and train in Sydney today and do my best later in the year,” said Beale, a 95 Test veteran.
Beale expects to be in contention for a jersey again in late August or early September. Tests against the Springboks for the following games against New Zealand.
His path to a return eased slightly due to Tom Banks’ horrific arm fracture, which he sustained in the first Test, but Kellaway and Jordan Petaia are both highly rated.
Kellaway took over from Banks in Perth and is expected to keep the No.15 in Brisbane.
Beale told reporters he was impressed with Kellaway and enjoying the challenge the Rebels star presented.
“I’m a competitive guy, stubborn in my own way of trying to push and fight for position.
“Without a doubt, Kellaway performed, I thought he did brilliantly. I think those few stylish touches, that try for Jordy, those hands were very silky. He’s been in and around the group, he’s stable and he’s succeeding, but I’ll do whatever it takes to create an environment and competition to do better.
“Like a lot of other guys that have come in, they’ve set the bar high and that’s how we want it, we want to keep pushing to be the best because we’re playing against the best – the Springboks, All Blacks and we’ve got am We have a big task ahead of us this weekend with England.”
Beale believes he needs a good run of eight weeks to get the volume of training he needs into his legs.
He appears happy to be at home in the care of Australian high performance environments.
“The top 14 was quite a grind. You’re always on, your body is kind of disrespected in that regard because the French roll you out every week without understanding the long-term effects, hence probably why the injury happened.
“I had 10 games right there right after the spring tour. It was quite a heavy burden.”
Beale was bolstered by his Wallabies recall in November when he played against England and Wales.
“When you retire from the game in Australia, but also from the Wallaby jersey, obviously that’s a special honor and while I felt like I could still give something back to the game at this level, it kindled the fire.” said Beale.
“Dave was very transparent about what he needed from me and where I needed to be to continue earning awards.
“He made it very clear to me. It’s a young group, I’m one of the elders now. But I have a responsibility to the guys around me and the coaching staff and I just play my part to make sure we all do our best.
“I think Dave always has that environment for you. He’s a quiet level headed guy and he brings out the best in you by having that individual personal touch and I think you saw that in the performance over the weekend – the guts, the character just came out of the guy.
“They were managed well, they were calm, there was no panic and the lads got their job done and you want to be a part of it. You feel like something is brewing here and for me, towards the end of my career, now you want to try and be a part of those moments because you don’t know when the last one will be.
Many thought Beale’s time might be up after the 2019 World Cup but he is keen to get back on tour next year and says he has always had his eye on the Wallabies shirt.
“I’ve always said another World Cup would be nice, of course after the disappointment in Japan. Bledisloe? It might be the last one, so those are the things you want to wake up to.
https://www.theroar.com.au/2022/07/04/competitive-and-stubborn-kurtley-sets-trc-and-world-cup-goals-ready-for-no-15-battle-with-brilliant-kellaway/ When will Kurtley Beale be available to play for the Wallabies?