As expected, utility back Kurtley Beale has confirmed he'll return to the NSW Waratahs next season after a turbulent two years at Super Rugby rivals the Melbourne Rebels.

But perhaps not as predictable was the 24-year-old announced on Thursday night that he'd signed only a one-year contract to remain in Australian rugby.

Beale, who spent two weeks this season in a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol-related issues, made it clear he was keen on a return to Sydney to be closer to family and friends.

"I feel at home in Sydney; it's where my family is," said Beale, who has often stated he'd like to test himself in the NRL one day after playing rugby league as a youngster.

"I'm really looking forward to playing some good, consistent rugby.

"I hope next year will be a big one for me."

Beale's attacking spark and versatility would be regarded as central to the Wallabies' hopes at the 2015 World Cup in England, but will need to impress on and off the field if he's to re-sign with the Australian Rugby Union and play at the tournament.

"I'm excited by the Rugby World Cup on the horizon," said Beale.

"And I'm just looking forward to getting back to playing really good rugby, having a big year for the Waratahs and hopefully getting selected for the Wallabies."

Beale joined the Rebels last year but a series of off-field incidents, including a punch-up with two teammates in South Africa, led to him leaving the Victorian capital.

Beale signed with the Waratahs in 2007 straight out of school and became one of Australia's most exciting backs over five seasons at the franchise.

Back in Sydney, he'll be hoping to return to the form that resulted in him being nominated for IRB Player of the Year in 2010, while he was named the John Eales Medal winner in 2011.

Although he played at fullback for the Wallabies in the recent series loss to the British and Irish Lions, Beale has stated he'd like to start at five-eighth for the Waratahs.

Beale had shoulder surgery after the third Test loss to the Lions in Sydney in July and will be sidelined for the rest of the year.

"It's really good news for Australian Rugby and great news for the Waratahs - he's a high quality player," Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said.

"Given the Waratahs' brand of football, he'll really add to the mix there.

"I'm looking forward to having him back playing his best footy; that's obviously a good thing for the Wallabies."

 

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