Wallabies utility back Kurtley Beale has revealed that he is keen to settle in the inside centre position when he returns to Test action.
Beale returned to Australia after spending a season with Premiership runners-up Wasps and made it clear that he wants to be part of the Wallabies’ starting line-up after he was used mostly as an impact player off the replacements bench when he last played for his country in 2015.
“I think just having the opportunity to be involved in the 23 would be awesome,” Beale said at the launch of the Wallabies Indigenous jersey on Monday.
“But I’ll definitely be putting my foot forward for that No 12 jersey.
“Like I said earlier there’s some young talent coming through: Reece Hodge has been amazing in filling that spot (and) recently Karmichael Hunt has put up his hand.
“I think that’s a really healthy competition and it’s definitely helped me get focused (ahead of the Rugby Championship).”
The Wallabies face the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney on August 19. Beale missed Wasps’ Premiership defeat to Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham in May due to a hamstring injury which he is still recovering from.
The 28-year-old believes his stint in the Premiership has made him a better player.
“I feel so (the year away has improved my game),” said Beale.
“I still feel like I’ve got to get my knee, my leg (right) because I’ve lost a lot of muscle in that leg.
“It’s a bit of a slow process getting that muscle back, but I learnt a lot about playing in certain conditions.
“The European rugby is exposed to all four seasons, that’s for sure.
“I feel like I’ve definitely grown with my knowledge of the game.
“I learnt a lot off the coaching up there.
“I learnt a lot off the guys next to me, picking their brains and how to play the game.
“Obviously the kicking game is very important at Test level and certainly I was very much involved in growing that part of my game up in Europe.”