13 Aug 2014

Beale's resurrection complete

11:55 am on 13 August 2014

The mercurial Kurtley Beale says he's thrilled after being named at first-five for the Wallabies Bledisloe Cup opener and he's confident Australia can arrest the All Blacks' history-making run.

Kurtley Beale  - "I feel so bad"

Kurtley Beale - "I feel so bad" Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Beale, who spent most of the year at second-five for the Waratahs, has surprisingly been handed the number ten jersey over in form New South Wales Waratahs team-mate and Australian incumbant Bernard Foley.

Coach Ewen McKenzie says Beale's irresistible form during the Waratahs' march to Super Rugby glory was impossible to ignore.

McKenzie believes the enigmatic utility back gives the Wallabies the best chance to stop the All Blacks from claiming a world record amongst top tier teams with an 18th straight win.

McKenzie says Foley hasn't put a foot wrong, but he says Beale will bring some additional x-factor.

He says Beale has a proven track record at first-five at a provincial and Test level.

The man himself says it's great to be back, having not started at first-five for the Wallabies since 2012.

In the other backline changes, in-form Adam Ashley-Cooper moves from wing to his favoured centre role at the expense of Tevita Kuridrani.

To accommodate Ashley-Cooper's move and Nick Cummins' departure to Japan, utilities Rob Horne and Pat McCabe are the new wingers.

There have also been two changes to the forward pack, with Nathan Charles to start at hooker in the absence of the injured Totafu Polota-Nau, while Sam Carter returns to lock in place of the benched Will Skelton.

There was no room in the 24-man squad for World Cup captain James Horwill.

1. James Slipper (vc - Queensland Reds)

2. Nathan Charles (Western Force)

3. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs)

4. Sam Carter (ACT Brumbies)

5. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)

6. Scott Fardy (ACT Brumbies)

7. Michael Hooper (c - NSW Waratahs)

8. Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs)

9. Nic White (ACT Brumbies)

10. Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs)

11. Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs)

12. Matt Toomua (ACT Brumbies)

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (vc - NSW Waratahs)

14. Pat McCabe (ACT Brumbies)

15. Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs)


James Hanson (Queensland Reds)

Pek Cowan (Western Force)

Ben Alexander (ACT Brumbies)

Will Skelton (NSW Waratahs)

Ben McCalman (Western Force)

Scott Higginbotham (Melbourne Rebels)

Nick Phipps (NSW Waratahs)

Bernard Foley (NSW Waratahs)

Tevita Kuridrani (ACT Brumbies)

*one player to be omitted