Kurtley Beale has reportedly knocked back an offer to extend his time in French rugby in a bid to play for the Wallabies at the 2023 World Cup.
RMC Sport newspaper in France reported the news on Monday night AEDT, although there has been no confirmation of his capture by a Super Rugby franchise.
The Waratahs loom as the likely destination for the 33-year-old who was returned to the fold on the northern hemisphere tour late last year by Dave Rennie.
The Tahs on Tuesday announced they had signed Welsh 94-Test cap centre Jamie Roberts on a one year deal to cover for injury concerns ion the squad.
“End of suspense. After many weeks of discussions, Kurtley Beale will not return to Racing, according to information from RMC Sport,” the paper wrote.
“Recalled by management of the Wallabies last November after his last international appearances at the 2019 World Cup, Beale has long weighed … on the one hand the prospect of evolving at the Waratahs to give himself every chance of being called up for selection in 2023, on the other a deal of two additional years at Racing.”
“After having recently exchanged with Wallabies coach Dave Rennie he has finally decided.”
The same publication has meanwhile reported that Rory Arnold is set to leave Toulouse, suggesting Japan might be an option.
Beale was clearly affected by his return to the Wallabies on the northern tour and he wrote a column for Code Sports that suggested he wanted more involvement in the national team set up.
Rennie had been given leeway to bring in as many overseas based players as required last season but made it clear he wanted to see some of those players return home to play in Super Rugby.
“It’s been good for me making the move to France to play for Racing 92. I enjoy the club and culture, but actually being removed from the Wallabies playing group and seeing them play again, I’ve realised how special it is,” Beale wrote.
“Watching what the Wallabies have done this year – beating the Springboks twice – helped reignite the flame for me. Seeing and admiring the growth under Dave, the rest of the coaching staff and Hoops, made me even more motivated at the prospect of being a Wallaby again.
“I could immediately sense the family feel within this Wallabies team. It’s a diverse squad, with a good mix of cultures, backgrounds and experiences and it doesn’t matter if you’re the youngest or the oldest (that’s me … how did that happen?!?) or how many caps you have, there’s a real brotherhood here.
“Combine that with Dave’s incredibly high levels of professionalism and you can sense that the group is working towards a new identity.
“The past two years has made me understand that nothing is a given and I really do miss it.”