Beale back for Wallabies in final Wales Test

19 Jun 2012 04:47:12

reads

comments

Kurtley Beale will make his Wallaby comeback in this weekend's final Test against Wales, despite facing a police charge for assault.

The 23-year-old missed the first two Test wins against the Six Nations champions with a shoulder injury and during that time got into trouble over an alleged altercation with security guards at a Brisbane pub.

Despite this, he was selected after the Australian Rugby Union said it had put on hold its own disciplinary process until the police matter was resolved.

Beale, who has not played for Australia since the bronze medal playoff against Wales eight months ago at the World Cup, will slot in at fullback, pushing Adam Ashley-Cooper to the wing.

Coach Robbie Deans said Beale had proved on the training field that he was ready for a recall.

"It has been frustrating for Kurtley and he's obviously had some off-field challenges to deal with as well," said Deans.

"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."

Ashley-Cooper takes Cooper Vuna's place on the wing while NSW Waratahs giant Sitaleki Timani has been recalled to the starting second-row, with Rob Simmons moving to the bench.

Despite retaining the James Bevan Trophy for a third time in succession following last weekend's 25-23 win in Melbourne, Deans insisted the changes were not cosmetic, but designed to strengthen his team.

"Wales are a very good side. They give you nothing and they take their scoring chances. They showed that in the Six Nations and they showed it again last weekend," Deans said.

"Both games in the series to date have been very close, there's no reason to suggest that Saturday afternoon will be any different."

Given that Wales has won just once in Australia -- 42 years ago -- Deans said the visitors would be motivated even though the series was now lost.

"If anything, they will be even more dangerous because the circumstance will unshackle them," he said.

"While they can no longer win the series, they can still achieve something only one other Welsh team has ever achieved by winning in Australia.

"And they have that opportunity in front of them with no real downside -- nothing to fear so to speak, as the series is beyond them."

Related Sport News

Comments

Top Writers (past 7 days)

Top trending sports stories

Writer stream