Beale dropped for Springboks clash

Kurtley Beale is challenged by Richie McCaw. Photo: Skysports

Kurtley Beale is challenged by Richie McCaw. Photo: Skysports

Kurtley Beale has been dropped by Ewen McKenzie as one of four changes to his side for the Rugby Championship clash with South Africa.

The Wallabies were hammered last time out by New Zealand, going down 51-20, and McKenzie has responded by changing his half-backs.

Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley come in for Nic White and Beale, while there are also starts for James Hanson and Tevita Kuridrani at hooker and outside centre respectively.

The Springboks edged their opening two fixtures against Argentina and travel to Perth hoping to make it three wins from three before taking on the All Blacks.

So McKenzie has rung the changes, with Waratahs half-back pairing Phipps and Foley getting the chance to start together at last.

With Kuridrani coming into the centres, Adam Ashley-Cooper is shifted back out on to the wing in place of Pat McCabe, who was forced to call time on his career last week and Hanson replaces the injured Nathan Charles.

And there are also changes on the bench, where McKenzie has opted for just two replacement backs, White and Beale, while James Horwill has earned a recall in place of Will Skelton.

McKenzie refused to criticise Beale and White, insisting the change was purely dependent on the opposition.

“While the size of the challenge isn’t any easier this week, the South Africans do play a unique brand of rugby which we will need to adjust to,” McKenzie said.

“That’s reflected in our selections somewhat, where we feel the partnership of Nick and Bernard will best suit the style of game we’ll be trying to play.

“They’ve got a proven combination at a Super Rugby level and we look forward to seeing how that translates into the Test environment.

“It’s naturally disappointing for the two guys who missed out on the starting team in Nic and Kurtley, but the reality is we have a lot of good players in those playmaking positions.

“We expect them to respond in a positive manner and to make an impact playing an important role in how we close out the match.”

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 James Horwill, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Matt Hodgson, 22 Nic White, 23 Kurtley Beale.

  • Planet Rugby

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Filed under Australia, Pacific Nations Cup

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