Beale returns to Waratahs

    2013-08-22 12:52

    Sydney - Wallaby back Kurtley Beale will return to the Waratahs for next Super Rugby season after two controversial years with the Melbourne Rebels, the club said on Thursday.

    Beale, 24, has signed a one-year deal with the Waratahs after the Rebels decided not to extend his contract beyond the 2013 season, following their earlier dumping of Wallaby teammate James O'Connor.

    Beale had a troubled season and was sent home in disgrace from the Rebels' tour of South Africa in March after an alcohol-fuelled clash in which he punched captain Gareth Delve, spurring him to check into rehab.

    He also courted controversy when he was photographed with O'Connor in the week leading up to the second Test against the British and Irish Lions in a Melbourne fast-food restaurant at 04:00.

    Despite completing a two-week rehab for alcohol-related issues, Beale was selected for the Wallabies by former coach Robbie Deans and played a role in all three Tests.

    "I'm really excited to be coming home and to be playing under Michael Cheika and the coaching team at NSW," Beale said in a statement.

    "I feel at home in Sydney, it's where my family are. The Waratahs are a team going places and I'm really looking forward to playing some good, consistent rugby."

    Beale will be out of rugby until next season's Super Rugby series following shoulder surgery.

    "I've made the decision to get my shoulder right, I hope this next year will be a big one for me," he said.

    "I'm excited by the 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."

    Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said the club was excited to have Beale back in a sky blue jersey.

    "The man is a great reader of the game and has the exact profile that we are looking to inject into our current backline set up," Cheika said.

    "Kurtley is just coming into his prime playing years and over this period, we want to ensure that he maximises his potential as a rugby player."

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