Beale set to return after bye

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Kurtley Beale is likely to be back after the bye for the Waratahs, after being ruled out of Sunday’s Rebels clash with an elbow injury.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said initial scans on Beale’s elbow, which he hurt in training painted a serious pictured but things were looking up for the utility.

“It started off as a the worst case scenario - six weeks,” he said.

“The assessment now is actually not too bad, it could just be a flare up of an old injury so that's’ what it’s come down to.

“He’s a definite chance for the Brumbies.”

The Waratahs have been delivered some more good injury news, with hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau on track to return after the bye as well, Gibson said.

Beale’s absence, combined with an injury to centre Rob Horne, means that Israel Folau will stay at fullback for Sunday’s clash.

Gibson has opted to shift veteran Matt Carraro into the 13 spot, with David Horwitz returning to 12 in Beale’s absence.

The front row has been reshuffled as well, with Benn Robinson returning to the front row, to combine with hooker Hugh Roach and tighthead Angus Ta’avao.

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said Beale was “gutted” to miss the match but ultimately it would be the best thing for the Waratahs in the long-term.

“He just wants to play rugby, he loves playing rugby,” he said.

“He's been in really good form, I mean KB’s playing some outstanding footy.

“I’d just like to see him roll with that and keep it going.

“It’s unfortunate for KB, great for Dave, great for Matt Carraro and it’s going to test us but it’s going to make us better in the long run.

The Waratahs’ depth has been tested this season through injuries, unearthing  Horwitz, Jed Holloway, Jack Dempsey and Hugh Roach as long-term prospects for the club.

Hooper said the experience gained by this younger brigade would be critical going forward.

“Guys are stepping up and that's what this young group needs to make the transition to (being) a lot better is getting that young group...growing into what they want to be as a player.

“It’s great for your confidence, for older players knowing when someone does drop it’s not the end of the world, it’s actually exciting to see the guys come through.”

The Waratahs host the Rebels on Sunday, kicking off at 4:05pm AEST.