Kurtley Beale on bench for Ireland showdown

Coach Michael Cheika says decision gives Australia ‘more options’

Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper will be used as “nice little attacking weapon towards the end of the game”. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper will be used as “nice little attacking weapon towards the end of the game”. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Michael Cheika enjoyed his five years living in Dublin; he didn’t enjoy the first five minutes of yesterday’s press conference in Killiney Castle.

That’s because the issue of Kurtley Beale’s unpaid 45,000 Australian dollars (€31,000) fine was raised by a touring reporter in conjunction with the mercurial talent’s inclusion on the Australia bench to face Ireland tomorrow.

Beale, who was fined but not banned for sending a lewd text message to former Wallaby business manager Di Patston, was a key figure when Cheika’s New South Wales Waratahs captured the Super Rugby title earlier this year.

“Aw, I didn’t know he hadn’t paid his fine,” Cheika responded. “I look after the footie side of things. I’m sure that will get looked after though.

‘More options’

“Regards picking him on the bench, I can talk easier about that, I just feel it gave us a few more options around fullback and centre.

“I like the combinations I saw in training with himself and Quade [Cooper] coming off the bench, a nice little attacking weapon we can use towards the end of the game.”

Other changes see Matt Toomua at inside centre, having recovered from a concussion and Fijian winger Henry Speight will make his Test debut having qualified through residency. Former Wallaby captain James Horwill has been ruled out with an injury, while Will Genia is named on the bench.

 

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