Wallabies utility back Kurtley Beale is set to make his long-awaited debut for Wasps in Sunday’s Champions Cup clash with Connacht at the Ricoh Arena.
That was the word from Wasps director of rugby Dai Young who said the 27-year-old is excited about the prospect of finally playing for the Premiership club.
Beale suffered a serious knee injury shortly after joining Wasps from the Waratahs seven months ago.
“First of all, Kurtley is really excited,” Young told Wasps’ official website.
“It has been difficult for him as you can imagine. There was a lot of fanfare about us signing him and then unfortunately he got injured, which was then surrounded by questions of was it going to be a three-month, six-month or nine-month injury? Coming to a new club on the other side of the world injured has been difficult for Kurtley really, and it is a long rehab process.
“In fairness to him, he has got his head down and worked his socks off. Kurtley has been so focused on getting fit and is desperate to be out there playing for us. He has been fantastic around the training ground since he arrived – very similar to George [Smith] last season.
“For someone the players have seen on TV a lot and who has so many international caps, he is so humble and has fitted in brilliantly. He’s truly a world class player, who is up there with the best of his generation, and yet he talks to anybody and is interested in what other people’s roles are at the club.”
Young said Beale could be in Wasps’ starting line-up for the crucial Pool Two clash with Connacht if he gets through training unscathed this week.
“Kurtley is really excited about being back in full training and about getting involved,” he added.
“He has got a couple of sessions to get through yet (this week), but we are pretty confident that he will have some involvement on the weekend. If he is looking extremely confident with everything, then we will probably start him, otherwise we will put him on the bench. That is hoping he does not get any reaction through training, but at the moment, he is not having any of that so fingers crossed he will be available.”
“It will probably take him a little bit of time to settle into our patterns and get his sharpness back, but some of the touches he has done in training already, there is no denying the quality he possesses. He is a world-class player, without a shadow of a doubt.”