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Benched Beale will have to work his way back - Deans

Date

Greg Growden

Painful … Kurtley Beale is no longer the potent weapon he used to be.

Painful … Kurtley Beale is no longer the potent weapon he used to be. Photo: Reuters

WALLABIES coach Robbie Deans believes axed fullback Kurtley Beale's conditioning must improve before he can again be considered for a starting Test spot.

Deans also emphasised the importance of Brumbies centre Pat McCabe to the Wallabies by bringing him straight back into the starting XV as soon as he was fit, in a revamped attack to confront Argentina on the Gold Coast on Saturday night.

McCabe's return after missing the first three Tests of the Rugby Championship because of a stress fracture in his foot resulted in Beale being squeezed out of the starting XV and onto the bench.

"You don't suddenly go from hero to zero. He's somewhere in between, and continues to offer us an awful lot" ... Wallabies coach Robbie Deans on Kurtley Beale.

"You don't suddenly go from hero to zero. He's somewhere in between, and continues to offer us an awful lot" ... Wallabies coach Robbie Deans on Kurtley Beale. Photo: Jason Oxenham

As Berrick Barnes's accurate goalkicking was crucial, he has been moved from inside centre, to accommodate McCabe, to fullback - a position he played regularly last season with Sydney University while recovering from several serious bouts of concussion. And so Beale instead finds himself as one of three backs reserves.

Although Beale's effort against the Springboks in Perth last weekend was a considerable improvement on his dreadful performance against the All Blacks in Sydney, he is still well short of what made him one of Australia's most potent attacking weapons in 2010-11.

Opposition teams have started to work him out, and his pace off the mark has diminished. Precise defensive strategies have had the desired effect of limiting Beale's impact.

''The defensive lines in Test rugby have stiffened up. Every side is finding it harder to score, and that side of the game is getting more difficult. And that's the side of the game which Kurtley is most remembered for,'' Deans said yesterday.

''It is also fair to say whether it be as a result of injuries or whatever, he is not as sharp as he has been. He's working hard on that, and will get back there.

''One of Kurtley's greatest points of difference was his footwork and his explosiveness. He had the ability to create a foot race and win. He has great instinct, and reads body language superbly. But to maximise that you have to be really at the top of your game and on top of your fitness. And he's not at the moment. That's evident. He's not in his 2010 shape.

''Still you don't suddenly go from hero to zero. He's somewhere in between, and continues to offer us an awful lot.''

Deans said Beale was probably most dangerous playing from the bench at the moment.

''He will provide a lot coming off the bench late when he is fresh and up against tiring bodies.''

Beale's teammate and long-standing friend, Quade Cooper, was adamant his form slump would only be for a short time, and he would soon be demanding a starting spot again.

''I don't think it is a case of him not playing well,'' Cooper said yesterday. ''The way the recent games have been panning out, it hasn't been the best for any of the back three.

''Kurtley is a player with a lot of expectation on him, and a lot of people have their eyes on him. So if he has a normal game it is noted that he is not as spectacular as he usually is.''

It was also clear McCabe was one of the first picked for this Test, even though his only football in recent months was 30 minutes in last weekend's Canberra club grand final. Deans has long held McCabe in the highest regard, prompting his inclusion in this year's Wallabies leadership group.

''He's been an integral part of this team for the past two seasons, and it was a pretty straightforward decision to bring him back in.

''When you have lost so much experience, it is good to have someone like Pat coming back, especially with his strength of character, physical stature and he is also someone who is prepared to provide direction to the game.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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