Beale gets the boot

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:14
Large ewen mckenzie   kurtley bea

BREAKING NEWS: Australian coach Ewen McKenzie axed Kurtley Beale ahead of his team's Rugby Championship encounter with South Africa.

Australian coach Ewen McKenzie has axed star playmaker Kurtley Beale ahead of his team's decisive Rugby Championship encounter with South Africa in Perth on Saturday.

McKenzie, after the failed attempt with Beale at flyhalf, named the Waratahs pair of Bernard Foley (No.10) and Nick Phipps (No.9) in the halfback positions.

McKenzie experimented with Beale in the pivotal position in Australia's 12-all draw with New Zealand at Sydney and saw enough to keep him there for the Bledisloe Cup re-match in Auckland.

However, the All Blacks' 51-20 win has caused the Wallabies head coach to reorganize his backline for the home match against the Springboks.

Foley kicked the Tahs to a breakthrough Super Rugby victory over the Crusaders last month, while Phipps was a major contributor in the win.

Adam Ashley-Cooper was moved from centre to wing in place of Pat McCabe, forced into retirement by a neck injury.

Tevita Kuridrani is the new outside centre and James Hanson replaces the injured Nathan Charles at hooker.

The Wallabies are seeking their first win of the Rugby Championship after recording a draw and a loss against New Zealand.

They sit in last spot on the table, behind Argentina, the All Blacks and the first-placed Springboks.

McKenzie has opted for a forward-heavy six-two split on the bench - with lock James Horwill returning to the matchday line-up, and Western Force captain Matt Hodgson and Queensland Reds hooker Saia Fainga'a getting their first opportunities for Australia in 2014.

Should Hodgson take the field, it would be his first Test appearance since 23 July, 2011 when he represented the Wallabies against South Africa.

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 (captain), 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.

* Twenty-fourth man: Peter Betham.

Date: Saturday, September 6
Venue: Patersons Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 18.05 (12.05 SA time; 10.05 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)