Feeling as fit as ever, Wallabies backline ace Kurtley Beale has unfinished business to tend to at next month’s Rugby World Cup.
After starting the last World Cup in career-best form and among the best players on the planet, Beale departed a shattered passenger.
The 2011 world player of the year nominee succumbed to a recurring hamstring injury and missed Australia’s 20-6 semi-final loss to eventual champions New Zealand.
He hasn’t forgotten and hopes to atone four years on when the battle for the Webb Ellis Cup begins at Twickenham on September 18.
Beale has featured only sparingly off the bench during Australia’s four Tests so far in 2015 but is aiming for more than a support-cast role in Britain.
The 26-year-old 52-Test survivor has been listed as an “inside back” along with Matt Toomua and Matt Giteau and will also serve as Israel Folau’s fullback understudy.
“There’s a lot of competition out there in my position so just to be picked and be in the squad is a huge honour,” Beale told AAP.
“I know my role and – 12 or 15 – I’m happy to come on wherever they need me.
“But to try and get an opportunity to start at either 12 or 15 would be awesome.
“So I want to try and cement one of those positions.
“Obviously it’s quite difficult at the moment, but that’s great. It’s only good for the team.
“I’ll be knocking on the door, that’s for sure.”
Before breaking down against the USA, Beale was dynamite playing fullback at the 2011 edition in New Zealand and looms as a selection wildcard for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika this time around.
“The body’s feeling really good and I’m feeling a bit faster now and I think the best thing about it is having the experience of the last World Cup,” he said.
“I feel refreshed, I know my job at hand and that’s definitely going to help my preparation moving forward.
“So that’ll make my on-game a little bit easier.”
Far from fretting about having Giteau rival him for a spot in Australia’s backline, Beale welcomes the classy veteran’s inclusion in the 31-man squad and hopes to join forces in what would be a worry for the Wallabies’ World Cup rivals.
“Freak. Freak. He’s a guy that you want in your team no matter what,” Beale said.
“Obviously he has a wealth of experience, so he’s great to have off the field as well. He’s great for morale.
“He’s been around, he’s seen and played against a lot of teams and been in a lot of Wallabies teams and to be able to feed off that experience is only going to be good for the group.
“Obviously we’re both playing the same positions, but to get the chance to play together would be fantastic.
“It’s only exciting times to see him in a Wallaby jersey again.”