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Beale likely to play first-five for Wallabies

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

MELBOURNE - Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has given a strong indication he wants Kurtley Beale to play five-eighth in Australia's opening two Tests within four days of each other.

Beale will face a gruelling week with his Melbourne Rebels playing on Friday June 1, Australia facing Scotland the following Tuesday and the first of three Tests against Wales four days later.

Deans says Beale is vital to the Wallabies' hopes of beating Scotland and Wales and believes he's capable of playing three games in eight days.

"We're chasing four wins in three weeks, that's our priority. We will select in order to achieve that," Deans said on Thursday.

"Hopefully he's available for all four, because clearly he's an integral part of our group."

Beale has stepped up from fullback to five-eighth with great effect for the Rebels in the past month following the departure of Danny Cipriani and injury to James O'Connor.

And with Quade Cooper making a 40-minute return from a knee reconstruction for Queensland last week, Beale is the first in line for the Wallabies' No.10 jumper.

While Deans says he'll select different teams for the Tuesday and Saturday Tests, he's abandoned the idea of only choosing Queensland and Western Force players to play Scotland.

"Because the Reds and Force have the bye the weekend before we thought it may be in our best interests to only pick them, but when it got closer to the event the reality is it's a Test match and we want to win it," he said.

Deans said many players will be selected for both Tests, but hinted the two forward packs will be markedly different.


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