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Kurtley Beale selected as Wallabies' five-eighth for Bledisloe Cup

Date

Georgina Robinson

Back at No.10 ...Kurtley Beale

Back at No.10 ...Kurtley Beale

Kurtley Beale will wear the Wallabies No.10 jersey for the first time since 2012 in an overhauled Australian back line to play the All Blacks on Saturday.

In a stunning move, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has backed the 42-Test playmaker, whom he first selected at five-eighth as a teenager in the Waratahs, to lead Australia around the park at ANZ Stadium in the opening Test of the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup series. 

In-form Test incumbent Bernard Foley will move to the bench, an unlucky casualty of his NSW teammate's outstanding form in Super Rugby and off the bench for the Wallabies this year.

In three more shock changes to the back line, Adam Ashley-Cooper moves in from the wing to his preferred position at outside centre, and Rob Horne and Pat McCabe will start on the wings.

Incumbent No.13 Tevita Kuridrani moves to the bench, alongside Foley and NSW halfback Nick Phipps.

Brumbies No.9 Nic White, inside centre Matt Toomua and Waratahs fullback Israel Folau are the only surviving members of the Wallabies back line that beat France in their three-Test series clean sweep in June. 

In the pack, Western Force hooker Nathan Charles will make his maiden Test start at hooker, and Brumbies second row Sam Carter starts alongside line out general Rob Simmons in his return from an ankle injury he suffered in his Test debut against France in June. 

Former Test captain James Horwill did not make the squad of 24, from which one player will be ommitted on Friday. 

McKenzie said Foley had "not put a foot wrong". 

“There were a number of extremely tough selection decisions, especially after the way the team performed against France, however we’re confident we’ve come up with the best squad possible to win on Saturday night," he said.

"In the end, we’ve got a very similar group of players to those who got the job done against France, we’ve just modified some roles slightly to suit how we want to play the game.

"Bernard hasn’t put a foot wrong since we chose him in June, but Kurtley has really stepped up his game over the past few months and he’s consistently been one of the Waratahs best players every week."

Wallabies: Israel Folau, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne, Kurtley Beale, Nic White, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Sam Carter, Sekope Kepu, Nathan Charles, James Slipper. Replacements (one to be omitted): James Hanson, Pek Cowan, Ben Alexander, Will Skelton, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Tevita Kuridrani. 

100 comments so far

  • Only one specialist open side in the team. Made that mistake before.... 2011 World Cup?!

    Commenter
    Lee Dogg
    Date and time
    August 12, 2014, 12:07PM
    • The 2011 mistake wasn't missing another specialist openside in the team, it was missing another in the entire squad.

      In the unlikely scenario that Hooper were to be injured, Hodgson is in the greater squad and would slot into the starting team the following week.

      Commenter
      Markus
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 1:47PM
    • OK , KB is a run on starter...but if he doesn't perform or misses another goal kick or tackle bench him real quick.
      Against the AB's maybe all the edge they need?

      Commenter
      selector 2
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 4:24PM
    • Beale at 10 is mistake. Foley brings structure, solid defence, sound decision making, pushing the line and he is the best fly half we have had sjnce Bernie. KB - He deserves a start but not at 10 and Tomua should be making way for him.

      Commenter
      Occyman
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 7:46AM
    • Forget openside. More worried abt AAC instead of Kuridrani at centre. This will definitely come back to bite us. We'll miss Kuridrani's defence, direct running and passing. AAC = hog.

      Commenter
      Lee
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 8:51AM
  • I think Link needs to be commended for picking the best combo and making sure that AAC is in his most effective position. A bit tough on Foley however KB has earned the start and Foley is a super back up. Same goes for Kuridrani who has done nothing wrong.
    The forwards look powerful although Charles may need a little time to calm his nerves but he has good heads around him and the forwards bench with McCalman, Higginbotham and kelton give great depth.
    Should be a cracker of a match.

    Commenter
    brow
    Date and time
    August 12, 2014, 12:16PM
    • Starting KB at 10 is a really interesting decision, and I agree KB's definitely earned a start. He floats in an out of 10 at the Tahs, so I suppose Link is satisfied with the work he's seen from him. I guess he's looking for KB to exercise his flair early to tire out the defense a bit, and then have Foley come in later in the game and start bending the line / carving them up with some direct running. 

      Commenter
      JC
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 2:20PM
  • Without Ice Man Bernard Foley, who's doing the kicking? Slippery Dip Beale? Worry worry

    Commenter
    Lillee
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 12, 2014, 12:28PM
    • @ Lillee

      Excellent question as I hadn't thought of that.... I'm still in a bit fo shock about Foley missing out. Dead right.... who's kicking for the Wallaby Link ??

      Commenter
      Machooka
      Location
      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 12:38PM
    • It would have to be White right?

      Commenter
      Muggs
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 12:56PM

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Super Rugby 2015

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HUR 36vs REB 12 Report Stats
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CHF 37vs CHT 27 Report Stats
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SHA 15vs FOR 9 Report Stats
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HUR 25vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23vs RED 15 Report Stats
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CHF 23vs BLU 16 Report Stats
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SHA 10vs CRU 52 Report Stats
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BLU 16vs BRU 14 Report Stats
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LIO 23vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43vs RED 22 Report Stats
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LIO 34vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19vs HUR 35 Report Stats
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HIG 48vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10vs WAR 13 Report Stats
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HUR 29vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16vs CHF 15 Report Stats
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CHT 25vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35vs LIO 33 Report Stats
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REB 42vs BLU 22 Report Stats
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HUR 32vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28vs HIG 23 Report Stats
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BLU 23vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46vs REB 29 Report Stats
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HUR 22vs CHF 18 Report Stats
WAR 33vs SHA 18 Report Stats
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LIO 20vs BRU 30 Report Stats
CHT 24vs HIG 45 Report Stats
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CHF 34vs BUL 20 Report Stats
RED 14vs SHA 21 Report Stats
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BLU 5vs HUR 29 Report Stats
WAR 32vs CRU 22 Report Stats
FOR 3vs HIG 23 Report Stats
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CHT 17vs LIO 40 Report Stats
STO 31vs REB 15 Report Stats
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CRU 35vs HUR 18 Report Stats
BRU 22vs BUL 16 Report Stats
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SHA 25vs REB 21 Report Stats
HIG 36vs CHF 9 Report Stats
FOR 10vs RED 32 Report Stats
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STO 42vs CHT 12 Report Stats
LIO 27vs WAR 22 Report Stats
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HUR 56vs HIG 20 Report Stats
FOR 20vs BRU 33 Report Stats
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REB 21vs BUL 20 Report Stats
BLU 11vs CRU 34 Report Stats
RED 3vs CHF 24 Report Stats
CHT 33vs WAR 58 Report Stats
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STO 19vs LIO 19 Report Stats
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BUL 29vs CHT 42 Report Stats
SHA 34vs STO 12 Stats
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Waratahs 16 11 5 0 96 52
Stormers 16 10 5 1 50 45
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