Wallabies boss Michael Cheika is set to start negotiations to bring former Waratahs utility back Kurtley Beale back to Australia.
Beale made a big money move to Premiership club Wasps in 2016 and despite being sidelined due to a knee injury for the first few months with them, the 28-year-old is back to full fitness and a regular in their starting line-up.
But Cheika is determined for the 68-Test Wallaby to return to Super Rugby as he continues with his plans to build depth in the Australian game.
Beale’s two-year contract at Wasps reportedly contains a clause which allows him to leave the club after one year if he desires.
But because he has played more than 60 Tests, he is on the right side of Australia’s policy regarding selection at Test level for overseas-based players and could see out his full term with the English club.
Cheika, however, is keen for the player to return to Australia and if he is successful in luring Beale back, the Waratahs could benefit during the latter stages of Super Rugby.
“I spoke to him when we were on tour and he told how he was going over there and kept me up to date with where he’s at,” Cheika told AAP.
“Obviously I’m keen for him to come back, there’s no doubt about that.
“I’m sure that time will come around soon enough, when it’s time to start putting our proposal to him and start speaking about coming back.
“He’s one of our top players and we’re very, very keen for him to be playing in Australia – even though he’s still eligible to play for the Wallabies from overseas.”
Cheika has been impressed with Beale’s form for Wasps since returning from injury in December.
“He still plays really good rugby, there’s no doubt about that, and he’s come back from the injury very well – that’s what I know,” he added.
“He’s had no side-effects from the injury and it was a pretty big one, which is very positive.”