Aviva Premiership

Beale set for Australia return to pursue World Cup goal

Kurtley Beale will return to Australia at the end of Wasps' Premiership campaign as he seeks to play a key role in Australia's bid for 2019 Rugby World Cup success.

The 28-year-old is nearing the end of his one-year contract and has confirmed his plans to head back to his homeland following conversations with Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika.

"This has been a really hard decision because of how much I've been enjoying my time at Wasps," Beale, who has 60 international caps, told the club's official website.

"I signed a one-year deal from the outset to enable me to keep my options open. I came very close to agreeing a new contract with Wasps, but I believe to achieve my international rugby aspirations I need to be back home in Australia.

"To be able to wear the Wallaby jersey again would be the greatest privilege and at this stage of my career I want to give myself the best opportunity of representing Australia in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"The vision Cheik has for the Wallabies is really exciting and is something I really want to be part of and contribute to."

Beale – who scored two tries in Saturday's Premiership win over Bath – also thanked Wasps for their role in helping him overcome a torn patellar tendon, an injury which delayed his debut until December.

When he did finally feature, the versatile back produced a man-of-the-match display in a 32-17 European Champions Cup triumph over Connacht.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young added: "Kurtley is a proud Australian, who quite rightly wants to represent his country, and neither I nor the club would ever discourage a player from playing international rugby, so we fully understand why he would want to return."