Kurtley Beale’s road to Wallabies redemption has begun on a training paddock in Dublin and teammate Quade Cooper says it’s the perfect place to show he’s turned a corner.
Cooper knows all about rebuilding a career, having transformed himself into a respected leader after a history of off-field indiscretions.
The Reds playmaker says everyone’s situation is different but the first step to making amends is always about actions.
“I think the first place you can do it is in training by making sure you contribute for your teammates,” Cooper said.
“Make sure that when you step over that white line at training, you put your best foot forward.
“Train as hard as possible and when it’s finished, recover well, do all the little things right and everybody sees that you’re doing the right things.”
Beale completed a full training session with the Wallabies squad in suburban Dublin on Monday, his first run with the squad since the text message scandal that threatened to end his Australian rugby career.
The Waratahs star appeared his bubbly self and, despite not playing since late September, looked focused and sharp when Cheika’s squad got down to business.
Beale is pushing for selection in Saturday’s Test with Ireland at Lansdowne Road and Cooper said he had returned with the full backing of the Wallabies squad.
Cooper suggested Beale’s return had been a relative non-event amongst a squad determined to bounce back from the upset defeat to France in Paris.
“There was no welcome party for him or anything,” Cooper said.
“It’s never really talked about outside of the media conferences so the guys are just very focused on contributing and making sure we become a better team and improving.
“All I know is he’s here ready to do a job, like we all are.”
The coming weeks could prove critical to Beale’s future, with negotiations ongoing over an ARU contract extension and Cooper wants to see him remain in rugby.
“Everybody in this team would love for him to stay around,” Cooper said.
“There’s a lot of guys going through negotiations for the next few years and hopefully we can continue to keep most of this group together.”