FULLBACK KURTLEY Beale will resume International duties for the Wallabies after being named for Saturday’s final Test against Wales at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
The Rebels star, who is being charged with assault following an alleged altercation with security staff at a Brisbane hotel two weeks ago, has been sidelined with a shoulder injury after a heavy defeat to the Hurricanes in May. This will be the fullbacks first appearance for Australia since the third place play-off against Wales at the World Cup last October, following a hamstring tear.
Coach Robbie Deans has resisted the urge to bring him back early after injuries among Australia’s backline left the Wallabies dangerously thin on available options.
“It has been frustrating for Kurtley, and he’s obviously had some off-field challenges to deal with as well, but it was important for all concerned that he had full confidence in his shoulder before we looked at re-introducing him to the Test arena,” Deans says.
Beale’s return sees versatile Waratah Adam Ashley-Cooper moved to the wing. The only other change means towering second rower Sitaleki Timani, returns to the side after missing the first two Tests. He takes the place of Rob Simmons who drops to the bench.
Rebels winger Cooper Vuna evaded suspension on Monday after being yellow carded for a collision with the airborne Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny, but has missed selection. So has last week’s match-winning-goal-kicker, Reds utility back Mike Harris.
Although missing out this weekend, Deans says both players have done well in the first two outings of their Test careers, and had good reason to be proud of their efforts to date.
Australia v Wales
Saturday, 23 June 2012 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney
15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Berrick Barnes, 9. Will Genia, 1. Benn Robinson, 2. Tatafu Polota Nau, 3. Sekope Kep, 4. Sitaleki Timani, 5. Nathan Sharpe, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 7. David Pocock (Captain), 8. Wycliff Palu
16. Stephen Moore, 17. Ben Alexander, 18. Rob Simmons, 19. Dave Dennis, 20. Michael Hooper, 21. Nic White, 22. Anthony Fainga’a