Rugby World Cup hopeful Kurtley Beale has detailed the extent of his rehab journey nearly a decade ago.
In 2013, the then-Melbourne Rebels player checked himself into a private health facility in an effort to overcome alcohol abuse issues.
It came after an incident in South Africa when Beale struck teammates Cooper Vuna and Gareth Delve.
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In a Stan Sport-produced feature – Kurtley: My Story – the rugby allrounder said it was a personally confronting time for him.
“I checked myself into rehab. It came off the back end of the Rebels, me getting in a stink with one of the other players,” Beale recounted.
“I made a bit of a porkchop of myself and absolutely deserved every sanction and everything like that. It was the time there where things weren’t going right for me. I had to get help.
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“With the support going back to my pillars, they pretty much said ‘Maybe let’s go down this route and try find yourself a bit.’ It was pretty tough.
“You think as a young kid you know everything, right? You know everything. I always see it as it’s all learnings. It’s a time for growth and I found that period really helpful because it was all about reconnecting with my identity because I lost it.
“I didn’t know who I was. When you don’t have that sense of who you are and that attachment of yourself then you lose yourself by not staying true to yourself.”
At the time, the Australian Rugby Union said Beale wouldn’t be selected for the British and Irish Lions series until he completed treatment.
In the end, Beale was selected and suffered more trauma in the Wallabies defeat to the visitors in Brisbane when he slipped while taking a win-or-bust penalty kick.
Beale said he felt “pretty shit” at the time, coming fresh out of rehab.
“I was very lucky to be picked in that Lions squad after that,” he said.
“I felt good and everything, but the way the games went on, it wasn’t the best.
“Again, they’re all kind of learnings, you’ve just got to accept it and then move on from that.”
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Australia won two of the three matches against the British and Irish Lions on that tour and Beale went on to enjoy a successful career that could yet see him return to the Wallabies.
The Waratahs star has revealed ambitions to contest the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
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