Beale to link up with Wallabies in Europe

Controversial utility Kurtley Beale will join the Wallabies’ spring tour of Europe next week after being recalled to the squad by Michael Cheika.

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The coach informed his squad on the eve of the Test against France in Paris that Beale will join the tour on Sunday for the final two games of the tour against Ireland and England.

Reds backrower Jake Schatz will also link up with the team in Dublin as cover for veteran Scott Higginbotham, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tour due to a hamstring injury.

Beale has not played for Australia since the loss to South Africa on September 27 and was left out of the spring tour squad after the text message scandal involving former staff member Di Patston.

The Waratahs playmaker was fined $45,000 by an independent tribunal for sending a lewd text picture message to Patston but escaped suspension after being found not guilty of sending a second, more offensive text.

Beale was also fined a further $3000 over an in-flight argument with Patston en route to Argentina with the scandal ultimately leading to the resignation of Patston and former coach Ewen McKenzie.

Cheika opted not to select Beale in his first squad as coach despite the playmaker being available, but left the door open saying he would be considered when fully fit.

Beale’s recall is sure to divide opinion but Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper denied it would prove a distraction.

“The players are really excited,” Hooper said after Australia trained at Stade de France on Friday.

“It’s going to be really refreshing to have two new guys come into the team.

“It’s going to be good to have KB in and around the environment, a place where he loves being.

“I’m really excited to see his face when he gets over here and get involved in training and maybe get a Test game.

“We need our best team over here to win our remaining games and KB is part of that.”

Both Hooper and Schatz will be eligible to face Ireland in Dublin next Saturday.