“Kurtley has signed a one-year contract with us, so I don’t know where all this about him leaving early has come from.
“He wants to experience living in a new country and playing in a new league. He wanted to give it a shot for a year initially. His girlfriend has come over and he understandably needed to see if they’d settle over here and if he enjoyed playing in the Premiership.
“Kurtley is obviously a proud Australian who would still like to play for his country. We fully expect Kurtley to be talking to Michael Cheika, there’s no problem with that. Obviously the 60-cap rule is in place over there, which means they can select Kurtley anyway, but I totally get that Cheiks would prefer to have his best players back in Australia. I imagine it will be out of our hands at some stage, as it will be Kurtley’s decision.
“Kurtley is free to do whatever he feels is best for him at the end of the one-year contract, but we are very open to discussions and would like to sit down with him and his agent to discuss his plans and our plans. We haven’t done that yet because we didn’t want to cloud the issue with his rehab, as the most important thing is getting him back fit and out on the pitch.
“In an ideal world, of course we were hoping he’d have had plenty of game-time under his belt by now, and then we’d be sitting down at Christmas to discuss this. We’ve let that lie because of his knee, and we didn’t want to put undue pressure on him, but we expect to sit down and talk over the next month.
“I know Kurtley is just really focused on getting fit and is desperate to be out there playing for us. He has been fantastic around the training ground since he arrived – very similar to George [Smith] last season. For someone the players have seen on TV a lot and who has so many international caps, he is so humble and has fitted in brilliantly. He’s truly a world class player, who is up there with the best of his generation, and yet he talks to anybody and is interested in what other people’s roles are at the club.
“I feel for KB because it must have been difficult to arrive injured and not be fully involved. He just wants to get on the park and show everyone what he can do, but that will come and I’m sure he’ll feel even more a part of everything when he’s fully involved in training and match day.
“I know Lee [Blackett] has a lot of discussions with KB when it comes to the attack. To be honest, I don’t have many discussions with him when it comes to scrummaging, but he’s just a great player to have about. That will only increase as he’s back playing and I’m sure he will also feel much more comfortable voicing his opinions when he has a ball in his hands and is back out on the training field. We’re still hoping that will be around mid-December and we’re looking forward to seeing him back in action.”
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