Beale will play for Western Force on Saturday

Australia veteran Kurtley Beale will make his return to Super Rugby for the first time in four years for Western Force on Saturday.

Beale last played in Australia’s league in 2020 for the Waratahs. He then spent two years at French club Racing 92 before re-joining the Waratahs in 2022. However, he did not play for the side again after he was suspended following sexual assault allegations.

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He was charged in January 2023 but was found not guilty in February of this year. The 35-year-old was signed by Western Force in April on a short-term deal as injury cover and plays his first game against the Crusaders.

Beale has not played for Australia since 2021, his last coming in a bench appearance against Scotland. He accumulated 90 caps for the Wallabies after winning his first cap in 2009 against Wales. He went on to play in three Rugby World Cups for his country.

Beale has not retired from the international game and is hoping to break back into the team.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot to add to the game,” the 95-Test Wallaby told AFP. “I had a year off last year and it was a great opportunity to really focus on my physical being, my mental well-being.

“I trained all that time for this moment now and again I’m very thankful for the opportunity here and I’m just really excited for the challenge ahead. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to kind of go back to the level playing that I’m used to and hopefully progress, keep growing as a player.

“I had one brief chat [with Joe Schmidt]. Look, he’s got a busy job at the moment in terms of settling in himself. But basically he just wanted to see me play some rugby… hopefully I’ll be able to put in some consistent performances for the selectors to be able to look at.”

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