'I didn't see it coming': Beale relishing Wallabies call up with one eye on 2023
Kurtley Beale hopes a SOS from Dave Rennie won’t be a one-off as he plots a fourth Rugby World Cup appearance in the green and gold.
Now based in France with Racing 92, Beale hopes his recall is the start of a two-year run that will culminate in him matching George Gregan and Adam Ashley-Cooper by representing Australia at a fourth World Cup.
“Dave gave me a call, I didn’t see it coming but I’m excited to be here,” he said.
“I still felt that individually I could still add (to the group).
“I’m playing at Racing at the moment surrounded by some really good international players.
“So my hunger is still there to grow and to push myself against the best.
“Obviously with the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023, it’s still a goal of mine and it (the Wallabies) is something I want to be a part of.”
Beale’s last performance in a Wallabies jersey was the 2019 World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of England.
The Test veteran says the selections of Cooper and Kerevi made him motivated to return to a team that is on the up.
Australia are aiming for six straight wins under Rennie and Beale has noticed a marked change in the young players emerging under the New Zealander.
“The loss in the World Cup in ’19 really hit home with me,” he said.
“Being away from this environment you miss home a bit and you realise how special the Wallabies jersey is.
“There’s a real brotherhood here. I haven’t used that word in a while but it does really feel like you’re in a family environment.
“There’s a lot of respect thrown around and it’s been a great opportunity for the new group to build their own identity.”
Beale has his eyes on the No.15 jersey but may have to wait his turn with Andrew Kellaway the likely first drop in Edinburgh.
The former Waratahs star will be hoping for some involvement even if it’s just to get one over Racing teammate Finn Russell and banish the memories of his last trip to Murrayfield when the Wallabies lost 53-24 in 2017.
“We were down to 14 men and that’s always a difficult occasion,” he said.
“Especially when you’ve got a miracle No.10 like Finn who loves to attack space.
“It was difficult to defend against a class Scottish attacking team.
“No doubt that’ll be their mindset on the weekend so we’ve got to have things in place to combat that.”
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