Gatland asked him to go, Ben. He couldn't commit because he still has games with Toulon. He's willing to go when he's free. That refusal might count against him - it certainly did with Andy Irvine, judging from his comments - but it's still possible that he's in the frame for a call-up.
"Rebels interim chief executive Rob Clarke was adamant on Thursday that Beale’s on-going treatment program was working"
Seems strangely similar to this:
When I say 2009 was more successful than the previous two Lions tours, I wasn't referring to results. 2001 was a bitchy tour, made worse by the this being made public. Henry's management was a key problem but a lot of players let him down. Few players have good memories of that series, probably exacerbated by the knowledge that they could have won. This disappointment was keener since everyone had watched, and been inspired, by the DVD of the 1997 Lions tour.
2005 was even worse. Woodward's idea of splitting the squad, and giving the players their own rooms, seemed designed to destroy any chance of building team spirit. It was a weak squad in playing terms but 1997 and 2009 showed that this was not necessarily a barrier to bonding as a team, and playing well. Dallaglio was injured early, as, of course, was BOD, so leadership was quickly lost. The comprehensive nature of the defeats made everyone want to be someone else.
2001 and 2005 weren't the first fractious tours. For instance, 1983 and 1993 both had problems but we were still in the amateur era then. Professionalism always threatened to change the nature of the players relationship with the Lions and it began to look as if 1997 must just have been a fluke.
The importance of 2009 is that it re-established the Lions as an enjoyable, and desirable rugby experience. If it had gone as badly as the previous two tours, we might have seen players turning down the chance to go, preferring instead to take a break over the summer for surgery, or recharging the batteries. That might have led to a decline in status and the beginning of the end.