SYDNEY (AP) — Utility back Kurtley Beale has left English club Wasps to sign with the New South Wales Waratahs and the Australian Rugby Union for two years.
The ARU said Friday the 28-year old Beale, a 60-test veteran, would remain with Australian rugby until the end of 2019 and would remain eligible to represent Australia.
Beale said from England on Thursday that he would not take up a second-year option with Wasps, despite a reported first-season figure of about $1 million that made him the highest paid player in the English Premiership.
"It's great to be heading back to Australian rugby," Beale said in a statement issued by the ARU. "l have to say thank you to Wasps, though, for the opportunity they have given me and my partner and I have learned a lot about rugby and myself. It's been a great experience."
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said it was good to have Beale back.
"Even though he's only been gone a year, it's a very different Wallabies team now," Cheika said. "He will have an important role to play for Australia, and the Waratahs as well."