Planet Rugby

Beale back for the Rebels

01st May 2013 07:33

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SKY_MOBILE Kurtley Beale and James OConnor - Melbourne Rebels - Feb 2012

On the bench: Kurtley Beale

The Rebels have selected troubled Wallaby Kurtley Beale on the bench for Friday's clash with Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, at AAMI Park.

Beale returns to the Rebels side for the first time since breaking his hand against the Waratahs.

The playmaker addressed the players and coaching staff on Tuesday, before taking to the training paddock later that afternoon.

Rebels coach Damien Hill said the decision was one that needed consultation, with the players having a considerable impact on the decision.

"Each decision ultimately is made in the best interest of the Club and the team. In this instance, that is what we believe we have done, and that is the most important aspect in this decision for him to return from the bench on Friday night," said Hill.

"He presented to the playing group in a very candid and honest manner. Knowing these players well, I know how much they want the Club to succeed, and have welcomed him back.

"The Club and Australian Rugby have shown trust in the off field program Kurtley has been and will continue to go through. So long as that trust is returned, we will continue to support Kurtley."

Apart from Beale's addition at the expense of Angus Roberts, Hill has named an unchanged team to the side that went down to the Crusaders on Sunday in Christchurch.

"The Chiefs will be the first New Zealand team visiting Melbourne this season. To have the challenge of playing the 2012 Super Rugby Champions in front of our members and home supporter base is a challenge we are looking forward to.

"It was great to see a number of players stand up to the challenge given to them last round, and that has been rewarded with selection this week.

"There are also a number of players who are vying for starting positions at the Club, which is healthy."

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Luke Jones, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Kurtley Beale, 22 Lachlan Mitchell.

Date: Friday, May 3
Kick-off: 19:40 local (10:40 BST, 09:40 GMT)
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Richard Goswell (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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