NSW utility Kurtley Beale is likely to miss this weekend’s match against the Waratahs, coach Daryl Gibson says.
Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps played down the severity of Beale’s elbow injury, which came from a training accident earlier in the weeks, but Gibson was not nearly so optimistic.
“Kurtley’s in doubt,” he said, speaking on Sky's Big Sports Breakfast.
“He had a training accident on Tuesday and it just looks like it’s flared up and it looks like he’ll probably miss the game on Sunday.”
Beale’s probable absence means the much-discussed move of Israel Folau to outside centre will be snuffed out once again.
Instead, Folau is set to remain in his preferred fullback spot, with winger Matt Carraro switching into the 13 jumper.
Youngster David Horwitz would be a straight replacement for Beale at 12, alongside returned playmaker Bernard Foley.
Foley’s return was a calming influence on the Waratahs in Brisbane last weekend and Gibson said the Wallabies flyhalf’s impact on games would continue to grow.
“That was his first game back for a while, coming in in difficult conditions,” he said.
“Bernard gives us that calmness but also his goalkicking.
“That hasn’t been good and he came on calmly and slotted that penalty that put us in front.
“His return to action will be good for us.”
The Waratahs forwards have issues of their own, after prop Benn Robinson’s criticism that they weren’t training hard enough.
Gibson said Robinson’s comments would hopefully spur the team on to turn a poor start around.
“When a player comes out and says, ‘Hey, I think this is the area we need to improve on,’ you take that and go, ‘Righto let’s get there’,” he said.
“It’s almost a mandate to say, ‘Alright, we’re not training hard enough, let’s train’,” he said.
“Yesterday I watched them go at each other for an hour.
“Hopefully, it’s a catalyst for positive change.”
The Waratahs host the Rebels on Sunday April 3 at 4:05pm AEST.