WALLABIES star Kurtley Beale will be in a race to be fit for the opening Test of the inaugural Rugby Championship after scans yesterday showed that he had a fractured rib which will keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.
The Wallabies opening game will be against New Zealand in Sydney on 18 August, six weeks away.
A spokesman for the Wallabies team said it was believed that Beale would be fit for the opening Test against the All Blacks and all precautions would be taken to quicken his recovery.
Beale remained in Melbourne while his teammates flew out to South Africa on Sunday after he finished last Friday night’s 32-17 loss to the Queensland Reds in what coach Damien Hill described as a ‘‘bruised and battered’’ state.
He was yesterday ruled out for the rest of the Super Rugby season by the Melbourne Rebels. He had gone into the game with sore ribs from the Wallabies Test against Wales the previous weekend and was seen walking very gingerly to the dressing rooms after full-time.
"Kurtley sustained a chest injury in the recent Wallabies Test against Wales which appeared to settle quickly however on Friday night it was exacerbated in our match against the Reds. Further investigation revealed a rib fracture," said Hill in a statement. The Rebels expect Beale to be out of action for four to six weeks.
Beale, and O’Connor, who aggravated a hamstring injury against the Reds, will miss games against Lions in Johannesburg this weekend, and the Stormers next week in Capetown.