SYDNEY - Wayward back Kurtley Beale left Australia to join up with his Wallaby teammates in Europe on Saturday, saying he wants to redeem himself after fearing his international career was over.
Beale received a call-up to join the Wallabies for the last two matches of their northern hemisphere tour after being left out of the touring party for disciplinary breaches.
Beale has not played for Australia since the Wallabies' loss in Cape Town against South Africa on September 27.
On the ensuing flight to Argentina to play the Pumas Beale had an argument with then Wallabies business manager Di Patston, which quickly descended into a major scandal engulfing the Australian Rugby Union and leading to the resignations of Patston and Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.
Beale was fined a total of Aus$48,000 (S$54,500) for sending an offensive text message to Patston and sanctioned again later for being rude and disrespectful to Wallaby team management on the flight.
Beale 25, admitted he feared his Wallaby career might have been over following the latest saga in his off-field troubles.
He has endured multiple suspensions and been forced to undergo counselling and rehabilitation for alcohol-related issues.
"There was some dark days and obviously that did cross my mind," Beale told reporters at Sydney Airport ahead of joining the Wallabies, who play France in Paris later Saturday.
"But I think throughout the whole process, there's been a lot of belief and faith shown in me and that's definitely helped me go through it all and I'm very thankful for that." He said there was an element of redemption about his belated call-up to the squad.
"If you get the opportunity, obviously you always want to go out there and prove not only to everyone out there, but yourself, you can bounce back from what I've been through," he said.
"Definitely, I feel like I have to show the Australian public what I can do out there and, if I can, show that through some good performances and, hopefully, I can repay that faith."
While he hasn't played since September, Beale said he had been training hard with the NSW Waratahs for the past three weeks and was confident he would be match-fit if called upon for next week's Test against Ireland in Dublin.