Sydney - Troubled rugby star Kurtley Beale on Tuesday said he was "over the moon" at being recalled to the Wallabies squad to face the British and Irish Lions and plans to grab the opportunity with both hands.
The 24-year-old recently completed a two-week rehab for alcohol-related issues and was speaking publicly for the first time since being suspended for striking Melbourne Rebels teammates Gareth Delve and Cooper Vuna on March 23.
"I'm feeling really good and really positive," he told reporters, a day after being named as one of the final six additions to Robbie Deans' 31-strong Wallabies squad to play the three-Test Lions series.
"It's great to be back in the Wallabies environment, they're a great group of boys and a lot of familiar faces. I'm very excited and just over the moon and it's time to keep on and move on with my life."
Beale said there had been plenty of times when he felt he would not be back for the series, and also weighed up missing it to focus on his rehabilitation.
"Yeah definitely," he said. "I had to obviously work on a few things off the field and I feel like I've done that now with the support of a lot of close friends, the Australian Rugby Union and the Melbourne Rebels."
His versatility at fullback and flyhalf won him a place ahead of Quade Cooper and while his counselling for alcohol-related issues is continuing, Beale said he was ready for the Lions challenge.
"I'm going to take this opportunity with both hands and help the Wallabies," he said.
"I think the best support base for me at the moment is being here in this environment. I'm very excited to be back playing rugby, which I love doing, and it certainly takes a lot of the distractions away."
The Lions, a combined British and Irish side which last toured Australia 12 years ago, play three Tests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on June 22, June 29 and July 6.