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VIDEO: Beale sheds light on unexpected Wallabies call-up

SPOTLIGHT: Kurtley Beale is ready to play anywhere in the Wallabies backline after confessing to shedding a tear at his unexpected recall after almost four years in the international wilderness.

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Beale was at the playground with his toddler son when he learnt that Joe Schmidt had included him in his first Wallabies squad since replacing Eddie Jones as coach.

The 35-year-old says he was overcome, having sat out the entire 2023 season before being cleared of sexual assault charges and offered a career lifeline by the Western Force in April.

“I’m humbled. Yeah, a lot of emotions there,” Beale said from the Wallabies camp in Brisbane on Monday.

“I’m just super excited to be amongst the guys again and really excited for the opportunity ahead. It’s been a while now but I’m ready to rip in.”

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Beale, who debuted for Australia way back in 2008 but last played after answering an SOS call to join the 2021 spring tour of Europe as injury cover, said he never stopped believing during the dark times that he could make it back.

“Although you’d think at the time it’s a long shot, I always had a lot of self belief,” he said.

“A lot of training on my own just allowed me to put myself in the best spot mentally and physically and having the right people around me as well really helped.”

The 95-cap veteran says the chance to join the exclusive 100-Test club and face the touring British and Irish Lions next year remain huge drivers.

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“It’s a huge milestone within the game and you can almost dedicate everything to the game coming straight from school,” Beale said.

“It’s been a part of my life like forever now. So these are little things that are huge motivators for me.

“It allows me to have that real purpose and it allows me to get up and go to training every day with a real strong purpose and intent to be able to go out there and go for gold.”

A fullback when he was shortlisted for the 2010 World Player of the Year award, Beale has also played wing, centre and flyhalf for Australia.

He said he’d happily slot in anywhere against Wales in the Wallabies’ season opener in Sydney on July 6.

“It’s not going to be given to me and I understand that,” he said of earning a 96th cap.

“The exciting thing is being able to test yourself against some of the best up-and-coming players in the country.”

The Wallabies hit the ground running on Tuesday with their maiden session under Schmidt, who has just 12 days to prepare Australia for their opening July series Test against Wales in Sydney.

“He’s been great, the way he talks about certain aspects of the game, especially around the attacking ruck is simple but emphasises the importance of that work and allowing us to play the way we want to play,” Beale said of Schmidt.

“He’s honest, tells you how it is and a lot of guys were able to pick that up and move forward.”

 

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