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Qantas Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale has re-signed with Australian Rugby Union and will return to his original Super Rugby province the NSW Waratahs, committing until the end of 2014.
The announcement means Beale is the 18th player to re-sign with the ARU in 2013, as he looks to return to peak form following a shoulder reconstruction last month.
Beale said he was pleased to be returning home to Sydney and excited for the future.
“I feel at home in Sydney, it’s where my family is,” Beale said.
“I’m really looking forward to playing some good, consistent Rugby.
“I’ve made the decision to get my shoulder right, I hope next year will be a big one for me. I’m excited by the Rugby World Cup on the horizon and I’m just looking forward to getting back to playing really good Rugby, having a big year for the Waratahs and hopefully getting selected for the Wallabies.”
Beale is making the most of his time off the field and is currently working as a Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team ambassador.
“I’m in Cairns today and then flying to the Gold Coast for and Indigenous Under 16s tournament this Sunday,” Beale said.
“Mentoring the kids and talking to them, sharing my experience, is something I love doing. I get a lot out of it too, it teaches me about myself as well.”
Since making his debut for the Wallabies against Wales in Cardiff in 2009, Beale has been capped 39 times, with highlights including five appearances at Rugby World Cup 2011 and a role in all three Tests against the British & Irish Lions in June this year.
Recognised as a prodigious talent when still in high school at St. Joseph’s College, Sydney, Beale has often produced world-class performances when called upon by his country.
In 2010, in arguably the most significant moment of his career to date, Beale stepped up to kick the defining penalty goal for Australia in a 41-39 win over South Africa in the Highveldt in Bloemfontein.
The 55-metre kick after full time secured Australia’s first win at altitude in South Africa in 47 years.
The 24-year-old was prominent in sealing yet another last-minute win in 2012, scoring the winning try in the Wallabies’ final match of the Spring Tour against Wales, sending off then-captain Nathan Sharpe a victor in his last Test before retirement.
Most notably a fullback, Beale has also been called upon to play flyhalf during his five years in Wallaby Gold, but it is his injection of pace and his x-factor that will prove valuable for the Ewen McKenzie-led Wallabies.
“It’s really good news for Australian Rugby and great news for the Waratahs, he’s a high quality player,” McKenzie said.
“Given the Waratahs brand of football, he’ll really add to the mix there.
“I’m looking forward to having him back playing his best footy, that’s obviously a good thing for the Wallabies.”
Beale was a nominee for IRB Player of the Year in 2010 and impressed his peers the following year to be named the 2011 John Eales Medal winner.
He is currently undergoing rehabilitation after having a shoulder reconstruction at the conclusion of the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and will not be available for the Qantas Wallabies again in 2013.
Other players to re-sign with ARU this year include:
Ben Alexander, Luke Burgess, Dave Dennis, Liam Gill, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Pat McCabe, Ben McCalman, Stephen Moore, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Rob Simmons and James Slipper.
Wallaby Number: 836
Test Debut: 2009 v Wales, Cardiff
Test Caps: 39
Super Rugby Team: NSW Waratahs 2014-
Previous Teams: NSW Waratahs 2007-2011, Melbourne Rebels 2012-2013
Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys 2004-2006; Australia A 2007, Australia Under-20s 2009, Australian Wallabies 2009-