GALLERY: Beale chases redemption at No 10

RUGBY UNION

Former Wallaby star Kurtley Beale hopes a return to his old team and his preferred five-eighth position will kick-start his stalled career.

He makes his return from shoulder reconstruction in a preseason trial against his former club Melbourne Rebels in Albury on Saturday as he looks to put a forgettable 2013 season behind him.

The Waratahs are also looking to bounce back from a disappointing season, making the team an ideal fit for the 2011 John Eales Medal winner.

"It's unbelievable to be back [at the Waratahs]," Beale said.

"Being a Sydney boy, born in Blacktown, I've got a lot of friends and family around here, so hopefully that will help me stay stable and give me the opportunity to really just focus on my rugby.

"I want to try to get back to the consistent form that I have had in past years, so hopefully this will give me the opportunity to do that."

Israel Folau's unshakeable hold on the fullback spot, at Test and Super level, has Beale coveting a return to the chief playmaking role after he spent most of his 39-Test career at fullback.

"I've always felt confident about getting back in the No 10 jersey," he said.

"It's just always been a matter of what's the right fit for the team.

"I've always relied on where the coaches think about where I'll play best but I've let Cheik [coach Michael Cheika] know that I really want to have a good crack at the 10 this year," Beale said.

"There's obviously some really stiff competition in Bernard Foley and Ben Volavola but my focus is just on getting out there controlling the boys around the park, not overplaying my hand. Hopefully I'll give it a good nudge."

The fact that his return match comes against his former club adds spice to Saturday's clash.

Beale insists he bears no animosity towards his former club.

"I treat it like any other game. Obviously it's my old club but there's no hostility there at all," he said.

"They're just like us ... they're all footballers and I'll just be going out there to concentrate on my role in the team and not the distractions."

While he's planning to make a big impression on the pitch in 2014, the 25-year-old hopes to have a relatively quiet year off it after battling disciplinary problems and alcohol-related issues in his two-year stint in Melbourne.

"I've learned a lot from it. I'm very thankful that I've gone through it," he said.

"You've got to go through these things to learn how to deal with certain situations, so hopefully I can continue to improve.

"I feel like - under the guidance of Michael Cheika and surrounding myself with good players like Israel Folau, Bernard Foley and Michael Hooper - that I can continue to do that," Beale said.

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