Australia head coach Michael Cheika appears to have big plans for Kurtley Beale, should he decide to leave Wasps at the end of the season and return home to Australia.
The 28-year-old is currently playing his club rugby in the English Premiership with Wasps but is out injured with a patella injury, which has kept him out of action since last summer.
The 60 times capped Wallaby, who is primarily an inside centre, has also seen time as a fly-half and full-back and though Cheika recognises the versatility of Beale, he sees a more definite role for the player within the national set-up.
Speaking to Rugby.com.au, Cheika outlined his vision for the oversees star:
“I think if you look at Beale before, he wasn’t starting.
“He was hole-fixing, but I think it will be different for him this time.
“I’ve got a clear vision of what I want him to do within the team.
“I know it’s only been a year- but in that year there’s been a big change in the Wallabies squad as well.
“He’ll come back with a slightly different stature I’d say. I want him to then play accordingly.”
The Australia boss concedes however, that should Beale return home, he would certainly be forced to take a pay cut along the way.
“We’ve said we want him to come home, this is what we think his place in the team is and then he’s got to assess that.
“Whatever happens, it’s (his contract) going to be less than he gets offered at Wasps, that’s for sure, based on what he got offered last time – even they just did that same thing again.”
At the end of the day, Cheika believes that it will come down to Beale’s desire to be a part of the preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in two years’ time.
Having been used as the ultimate utility player for the 2015 edition in England, the Wallabies coach is hoping country trumps cash.
“It’s going to be a matter of whether he wants to come home and be an instrumental part in his team, in the Australian team, and lead-up to the World Cup.”
With the door now wide open for a return, it will now come down to the player himself to decide whether to stay in England and try and establish himself in the Premiership or cut his losses and return home.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
On this week’s Oval Office Podcast, Jacques Burger talks about his battle with depression, Benetton Treviso’s Ian McKinley reviews Italy’s performance against England and Daniel Killick of The Attacking Scrum tells us what’s gone wrong with Wales.