Beale 'ready to go' for Bledisloe but DHP in doubt

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is adamant Kurtley Beale will be ready to go for Saturday’s Bledisloe, but revealed another possible injury concern on Sunday.

Beale has been working his way back after a setback from a hamstring injury he suffered playing for Wasps, and has often been training separate from the main group.

Cheika said the utility was back in full training and had no reservations about his or Samu Kerevi’s (pectoral) fitness.

“He had his injury a while back, had a setback in his rehab,” he said.

“Since he's been back, he's now passing all the levels we needed him to. He's done full contact training so he's fine.”

“I've been pretty pleased with the work ethic that the guys have had over the last few weeks." - Michael Cheika.

“There’s' an acclimatisation period where we really went hard at over the first few weeks after Super Rugby finished and last week we started getting right into some of the detail of our rugby.

“Beale and Kerevi, they'll be back to full fitness.”

Cheika said his only injury worry lied in the elbow of Dane Haylett-Petty, but the Wallabies mentor was optimistic he too would feature at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night.

“The only guy who's still got to get himself right is Dane Haylett-Petty - he's still carrying a bit of an elbow injury, so that's something we're working on hard and he's been working on hard so I'm confident that'll be right,” he said.

Haylett-Petty has battled with injury this year but played in all three June Series Tests and hasn’t missed a Wallabies clash through injury since his 2016 debut.

The Force fullback is one of six of his club in camp, dealing with the official news that their club would not exist in 2018.

Cheika said next Saturday’s assignment might be the only thing powerful enough to stop the Super Rugby news pervading camp.

“I think if there's any one thing that could keep your focus when something like this happens it's the quest for winning a Bledisloe,” he said.

“Both Dane and Adam who came in with some injuries have worked super hard to get themselves right and then new guys like (Curtis) Rona and Billy Meakes have just excelled.

“They've had an excellent preparation by their coach this year and ... they're competing strongly for places within the team.” - Michael Cheika.

The Wallabies will spend the week in Western Sydney, kicking off on Sunday with players spending time at a gala day, running water for juniors and manning the barbecues.

“People are happy to see us out here and thanking us and it's really the other way around, we should be thanking them for coming out here,” Cheika said.

“We just feel that this is an essential part of the development of the game for us to invest in the western part of Sydney, not just from a talent perspective but from a fan perspective.

“They're great fans, whatever the sport is, they love their sport out here, and when Australia plays they'll be on our side, for sure.”

The Wallabies take on New Zealand next Saturday in the opening Bledisloe, kicking off at 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.