Aviva Premiership

Wasps seal Beale deal

Wasps have secured the signing of Waratahs and Australia back Kurtley Beale ahead of the 2016-17 Premiership season.

The Times reported on Friday that Beale was set to become the highest-paid player in England after signing a two-year contract worth £1.5million, although Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson remained hopeful the 27-year-old would stay in Super Rugby.

However, Wasps later confirmed the switch, with Beale set to join up with his new team-mates in Coventry following the conclusion of the 2016 Super Rugby campaign.

"I can't wait to move to England and pull on the Wasps jersey," the 60-times capped Beale said. "It's going to be difficult to leave the Waratahs at the end of this season - I first joined the Tahs when I was 16 and have loved every minute of it, but I feel the time is right to make this move.

"There was a lot to weigh up when making the decision, but I have always loved playing in England and the recent World Cup was an amazing experience. The passion for the game in Europe is huge and I want to be a part of it.

"I am only 27 now and I know my best footy is ahead of me, both at club and Test level.

"I want to win trophies with Wasps in the Premiership and Europe, and continue playing for the Wallabies. It's a privilege every time you get to pull on that Test jersey and if I'm lucky enough to be selected for Australia in the future, I'll be ready."

Director of rugby Dai Young added: "There are very few players in world rugby who can really excite people and get spectators on the edge of their seats. Kurtley Beale is one of those rare talents.

"Every time he gets the ball in his hands, you can sense the anticipation among those watching that something is going to happen.

"At Wasps, we like to play expansive, attacking rugby, and these are the type of players we want within our set up."

Beale joins Guy Armitage, Danny Cipriani, Tom Cruse, Marcus Garratt, Marty Moore, Tommy Taylor and Tom Woolstencroft in arriving at Wasps for next season.