Wallabies star Kurtley Beale will put his seven-month injury hell behind him this weekend when he makes his long-awaited Wasps debut.
Beale ruptured his patella tendon playing for the NSW Waratahs in May just 24 hours after inking a STG750,000 ($A1.3 million) a year deal with the English giants.
The contract – the most lucrative in the British domestic game – is a two-year agreement with a 12-month break clause option and there’s been intense speculation Beale will return home at the end of the season.
Australia coach Michael Chieka stayed on in the UK after the rest of his squad flew back on Sunday from their Spring Tour and is believed to have met with Beale and his manager Isaac Moses.
Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young said recently there’s been no discussions about Beale’s future plans but conceded he was semi-resigned to him exiting in May when the English campaign concludes.
“We fully expect Kurtley to be talking to Michael Cheika, there’s no problem with that,” Young said.
“Obviously the 60-cap rule is in place which means they can select Kurtley anyway. But I totally get that Cheik would prefer to have his best players back in Australia.
“I imagine it will be out of our hands at some stage, as it will be Kurtley’s decision.”
“We are very open to discussions and would like to sit down with him and his agent to discuss his plans and our plans.”
Wasps fans will finally get to see Beale in action in Sunday’s European Rugby Champions Cup clash against Irish side Connacht and Young said his return has generated huge excitement around the club.
“It has been difficult for him as you can imagine,” Young told PA Sport on Wednesday.
“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 … 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 other people around the club.”
Young said that provided Beale gets through training unscathed this week then he’ll be in the starting line-up against Connacht.
“If he is looking extremely confident with everything, then we will probably start him, otherwise we will put him on the bench,” he said.