Waratahs start Beale at fly-half

30th Jan 2014, 09:04

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Ten role: Kurtley Beale

Ten role: Kurtley Beale

Returning Wallaby Kurtley Beale starts at fly-half for the Waratahs in their first pre-season trial match against the Rebels.

Returning Wallaby Kurtley Beale starts at fly-half for the Waratahs in their first pre-season trial match against the Rebels.

Saturday's clash is technically a home game for the Melbourne franchise, but is set for New South Wales territory, taking place in Albury.

"A lot of the lads come from the country areas, like those rural communities we've stopped at along the way," said Waratahs boss Michael Cheika.

"Some of those places have probably felt some connection to the Brumbies in the past but if it's in NSW, we would love the people to want to support their state's team.

"It doesn't matter what team or code you follow, if you're from NSW, you can support the Waratahs."

Beale pulls on a 'Tahs jersey for the first time since 2011, knowing that Israel Folau has full-back berth all but sewn up, while Stephen Hoiles also makes his long-anticipated return to rugby in the back-row.

The Waratahs have recruited coach Nathan Grey, who spent the past few seasons with the Rebels, adding extra spice to the occasion.

"It will be great, a good challenge and fun to see all the Rebels players but also be a bit weird to see them on the other side of the fence," said Grey.

"I am really looking forward to the game and it will be great for the Waratahs to finally have their first hit out after a long pre season."

Waratahs: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Jono Lance, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Tala Grey, 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Greg Paterson, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Jeremy Tilse
Replacements: tbc