33-year-old Kurtley Beale has confirmed that he will return to Australia at the end of the 2022 Top 14 season in France after cutting short his time with Racing 92. This is a significant development for many reasons but perhaps none more so than the fact that Beale is giving up in the region of $500,000 to return to Australia in time to put his name in the ring for international selection for the 2023 World Cup.
Australia Desperate to End Drought
It should be said that the Wallabies need all the help they can get after being priced at +1000 in the most up-to-date rugby union odds for the upcoming World Cup in 2023. It is indeed a case of all hands to the pump now that the Aussies have gone 23 years since last winning rugby’s premier showpiece.
— Wallabies (@wallabies) November 5, 2014
No one could have predicted that the Wallabies would go through such an extended World Cup drought after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup at the Millennium Stadium in 1999. The Australians had, of course, made it two World Cup wins in just four attempts after winning the 1991 showpiece in London, four years after the inaugural event was held in New Zealand in 1987.
Indeed, boasting a 50 percent World Cup win ratio at the time, the odds would have been extraordinarily long on the nation not winning another title to date. Incredibly, an entire generation of Australia’s best players have missed out on the chance to win the World Cup but it should be stressed that it hasn’t been for the want of trying after finishing as runners-up in 2003 and then 2015.
In essence, this is why Beale has made the decision to head home and turn out for his country as it will be his last chance at World Cup glory. Should the New South Wales Waratahs player get the call-up then he will join George Gregan and Adam Ashley-Cooper as the only other Australians to play in four World Cup tournaments.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 19, 2017
Beales’s Experience Could Be Invaluable
With this in mind, you can understand just how much experience Beale will bring to the Wallabies set up in France as they try and put to bed a 23 year-long World Cup hoodoo. The 33-year-old operates primarily as a fullback and is revered for his barnstorming approach to the game that involves blistering runs into the opposition’s half from the backline.
Additionally, Beale is also a playmaker and benefits from having a passing range that helps open up the opposition’s defense. Impressively, Beale has crossed the whitewash on nineteen different occasions during 93 matches for the Wallabies which is testament to how much attacking impetus he offers.
Needless to say, however, the utility back will have to be at his devastating best during the 2023 World Cup if Australia are to finally get back to the days of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup. For the 33-year-old, he will be hoping that it is fourth time lucky when he pulls on the famous green and gold in France for the last time.