Wales

Wales wary of electric Beale

Fri, 22 Jun 2012 11:09
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Wales know that if they are to secure their first Test victory over the Wallabies on Australian soil since 1969, then they will have to neutralise fullback Kurtley Beale.

Beale comes into the Australian line-up for the first time since the World Cup last year when the teams contest the final Test of the three-match series in Sydney on Saturday, and the visitors know that they cannot afford to give him too much of an opportunity to impress.

Caretaker coach Rob Howley said that the key would be to deny the Wallabies quick ball.

He said: "Kurtley's ability to beat a man makes him a world-class player and he is very potent around the ruck area.

"We did a job on Will Genia in Melbourne last weekend and that resulted from our work at the contact area, in particular slowing down the Australian ball.

"That will be equally important on Saturday. Kurtley does give us another problem to deal with, but I'm sure we're up to that," added Howley.

Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny, who has been one of the stand-outs for Wales in the series, rates Beale among international rugby's elite players.

"He is without a doubt up there with the best fullbacks in the world, he is a quality player and he can create something out of nothing. Our defence will have to be on red alert when he's got ball in hand," said Halfpenny.

While shattered by their last-kick 25-23 defeat to Australia last weekend, the Welsh are talking of winning the final match as a reward for their tour.

"It's a fair way to come and not return home with something to show for the hard work," forwards coach Robin McBryde said.

"This is the last opportunity and hopefully we will get back to winning ways.

"It's quite hard to lose in those circumstances last weekend, but it's also quite encouraging to know we were that close to getting what would have been quite a famous victory," he added.

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