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The surprise call that ‘reignited’ Beale’s RWC fire

Kurtley Beale says a surprise return to the Wallabies at the back end of 2021 reignited ambitions to make a fourth Rugby World Cup start.

Beale contested his first World Cup in 2011 in New Zealand and also played in the subsequent 2015 and 2019 tournaments in England and Japan.

Off the back of the 2019 edition, Beale moved to France where he played for iconic Paris club Racing 92.

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Then, a return to the Wallabies fold in 2021 as an injury replacement for Reece Hodge lit a fuse that’s got him focused firmly on the 2023 World Cup in France.

“It was awesome. It definitely reignited the fire to be able to have the opportunity to play for your country again,” Beale said on the Stan-produced feature – Kurtley: My Story.

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“I guess it pretty much made the decision for me to come home. I feel like, at the time, I was playing some of the best rugby over in Europe. Consistent, week-in, week-out rugby, playing against some of the best in the world.

“Being involved on that spring tour, being under Dave [Rennie, Wallabies coach] and how he runs things and being in and around the lads, it’s a pretty unique environment and it was something I wanted to keep being involved with.

“It was awesome to be a part of that. That time was definitely the time where I kind of realized I need to play a bit more rugby in the gold jersey.”

In many ways, Beale has come full circle.

In the twilight of his career, the Sydney-sider has returned to the Waratahs who he made his Super Rugby debut with.

It’s there that he’ll no doubt hope to bring the New South Wales team just its second championship.

Beale was part of the 2014 side that defeated the Crusaders in a final thrilling.

Now, he’s reuniting with Waratahs coach Darren Coleman, who fostered Beale’s talent in the formative stage of his career.

“DC, Darren Coleman, and I go way back in terms of coaching,” said Beale.

“He coached me for Norths in 2007, my first year out of school as a Shute Shield coach. Then under-20s as well, but we’ve always had this strong connection.

Beale targets Wallabies return

“He reached out and asked if I would like to be back with the Tahs. He knew that I wanted to come back at some stage because I expressed my World Cup dreams, ambitions, and it all worked out nicely.

“The reason why I came back is to go for that next World Cup. I feel like I’ve still got a lot to give to the game, a lot to my teammates, and I think we talk about experience, experience goes a long way.

“I feel like I have that in spades in terms of knowledge of teams or players all over the world. I think I could be valuable in that area.

Sean Maloney and Morgan Turinui bathe in a famous Wallabies comeback win and reflect on some of their favorite 2022 moments both on and off the show

“The first two weeks [of training] were miserable days,” he added.

“They were quite tough. Obviously, the body is adapting. Exciting times. I’ll keep working hard. Working for a spot. Pushing myself to be able to earn that right and that call-up.”

The 2023 World Cup gets underway in September.

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