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Kurtley Beale will leave Wasps and head home in good time for the 2019 World Cup

Though not until well after he takes on Leinster in the Champions Cup.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

AUSTRALIAN UTILITY BACK Kurtley Beale has decided not to extend his contract with Wasps beyond this season and will instead turn his attention to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The 28-year-old signed with the Premiership outfit on a one-year deal for this season, but despite mulling over an offer from the club he will return to Super Rugby.

“This has been a really hard decision because of how much I’ve been enjoying my time at Wasps,” Beale said in a club statement today.

“I believe I have grown as a player and person during my experience here. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to play with these great lads and I’m loving being part of this group and am excited to see what we can achieve this season. With the squad Wasps have, I’m sure they will also be successful over the coming seasons.

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.”

Wasps currently sit top of the Aviva Premiership and will travel to face Leinster in the Champions Cup quarter-final on 1 April. Director of rugby Dai Young wished Beale well on his way out of the club, saying all contract negotiations had been amicable with the former Waratahs and Reds man, adding:

Until last week, we were relatively confident he would put pen to paper for another year. However, I know he and Michael Cheika have spoken recently and Kurtley feels he has an important role to play in the Wallabies’ set-up, leading up to the World Cup.

“Kurtley is a proud Australian, who quite rightly wants to represent his country, and neither I nor the club would ever discourage a player from playing international rugby, so we fully understand why he would want to return.”

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