Kurtley Beale quitting Wasps to pursue spot in Australia squad for Rugby World Cup

Kurtley Beale
Kurtley Beale scored two tries at The Rec on Sunday as Wasps beat Bath 24-3 to maintain their five-point lead in the Premiership

Kurtley Beale is to leave Wasps at the end of this season and return to his native Australia in order to pursue his World Cup ambitions.

The Premiership leaders were keen to retain the Australia full-back, 28, beyond his existing one-year contract.

But Beale, whose debut was delayed until December by a knee injury, has been advised to return if he wants to feature in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"To wear the Wallaby jersey again would be the greatest privilege," he said.

"At this stage of my career I want to give myself the best opportunity of representing Australia in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"This has been a really hard decision because of how much I've been enjoying my time at Wasps.

"I will always appreciate how they supported me through the injury rehab and gave me time to get my confidence back on the field.

"I signed a one-year deal from the outset to enable me to keep my options open. I came very close to agreeing a new contract with Wasps, but I believe to achieve my international rugby aspirations I need to be back home in Australia."

The former Waratahs player had scored 12 tries in 60 Tests for the Wallabies prior to the injury he suffered in the 2016 Super Rugby season.

He has notched three tries in six Premiership matches for Wasps since finally making his debut, with two coming in Saturday's 24-3 win at Bath.

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