Deans backs Beale to flourish

PA Sport
Kurtley Beale will start at fly-half against South Africa

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Kurtley Beale will start at fly-half against South Africa

Australia coach Robbie Deans has backed Kurtley Beale to shine in the number 10 shirt after naming his team to face South Africa in their Rugby Championship clash in Pretoria on Saturday.

Beale will enjoy his first stint at fly-half in what will be his 30th Test for Australia, playing alongside Melbourne Rebels team-mate Nick Phipps.

"The (jersey) number might be new but his role within the game won't be," Deans said.

"Although his season hasn't been without challenge, Kurtley stepped up with his involvements on the Gold Coast (in their win over Argentina), making a difference when he was on the field.

"He's brought that enthusiasm forward with him since we've been in South Africa, has worked hard on the training track, and is excited about the opportunity ahead. He has good memories from some of his experiences over here."

Nathan Sharpe will run out for his 110th Test match and fourth as skipper, with his overall tally taking him to equal-second in overall Wallabies appearances with former openside flanker George Smith.

The pair still trail former half-back George Gregan's tally of 139 caps.

Front-rower Benn Robinson also brings up a milestone, set to appear in his 50th international Test.

Australia team: Berrick Barnes; Dominic Shipperley, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane; Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps; Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota Nau, Ben Alexander, Kane Douglas, Nathan Sharpe, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Radike Samo.

Replacements: Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Scott Higginbotham, Liam Gill, Brett Sheehan, Anthony Fainga'a.

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