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Focused Beale backed to be long-term No.10

All grown up … Kurtley Beale has attracted lavish praise from Wallabies coach Robbie Deans in the lead in to ...

All grown up … Kurtley Beale has attracted lavish praise from Wallabies coach Robbie Deans in the lead in to Saturday’s Bledisloe Test at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Reuters

Robbie Deans has lauded the efforts and the maturity of his new No.10, Kurtley Beale, in a clear sign he has heartily embraced a new playmaker while moving on from the old.

Beale has impressed in his recent outings as the Wallaby five-eighth but faces an entirely new challenge on Saturday night, when he will shoulder the bulk of creative duties against the All Blacks in Brisbane.

The Rebels star has taken the No.10 jumper from close friend Quade Cooper, who is recovering from minor knee surgery and is contemplating his future after voicing his displeasure at the Australian Rugby Union and Deans.

While Cooper and Deans remain firmly estranged, the Wallaby coach was quick to lavish Beale with praise, saying the 23-year-old had matured greatly as a man off the field and that he cares about his teammates.

Cooper's name did not come up as Deans fronted the media at the Wallaby team announcement yesterday but he made it crystal clear he has enjoyed the work of Beale and regards him as a long-term player at five-eighth.

''He's loving the challenge,'' Deans said. ''It's not easy - there's a lot of homework required. It's a role that requires Kurtley to think for the team, not just himself, but he's doing that.

''He's doing his homework. The amount of interaction and communication within the group has just escalated out of necessity, pre-training as well as in training. It's a challenge that he's enjoying and he's meeting. He's perfectly capable of continuing to thrive.''

Beale has had his share of troubles off the field, a few of them with Cooper in close proximity. He faced court in July after an alleged altercation with a bouncer at The Victory Hotel in Brisbane. Beale is trying to enter mediation with the bouncer but will face a common assault charge if the matter cannot be settled.

Deans said Beale had lived a ''colourful life'', but stressed his teammates loved being around him in the Wallaby camp.

''To see the growth in the man [is pleasing], as much as anything. The game is one thing, but to see the growth in him … it is great to see,'' Deans said.

''It translates off the field. He's had a colourful life, but he's a bloke who cares, very much … he's an emotional being. But he's a bloke his teammates love being around, for that reason. He cares about them as well.''

Meanwhile, Sunday could be D-Day for injured openside breakaway David Pocock, who has ''no idea'' if he will be fit enough to make the Wallabies' end-of-season tour of Europe.

Pocock remains touch and go after undergoing knee surgery in late August and will consult the Wallabies' medical team after Saturday night's clash.

While Deans is hopeful Pocock will play some part in Australia's four-Test tour, starting against France in Paris on November 10, the champion No.7 is not so sure.

''I'm not holding my breath,'' Pocock said. ''You always hope that you can get back on the field and play but whether that's realistic I'm not sure."

with AAP

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
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SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
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IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
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TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
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WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
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SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
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ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
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SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
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NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
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SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
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SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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