The Wallabies have named the team which will play the Springboks on Saturday evening in Pretoria.
Kurtley Beale will start at flyhalf, replacing the injured Quade Cooper and Berrick Barnes, who moves into fullback.
Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says that although this represents Beale’s first time in the Test number 10 jersey, he had long been viewed as an option in the position.
“The [jersey] number might be new but his role within the game won’t be,” Deans says of Beale.
While yet to start a Test match as a flyhalf, Deans says that Beale had spent much of his international career as a playmaker operating from fullback anyway, and would not face any great change in his duties as a result of the positional switch.
“Although his season hasn’t been without challenge, Kurtley stepped up with his involvements on the Gold Coast, making a difference when he was on the field. He’s brought that enthusiasm forward with him since we’ve been in South Africa, has worked hard on the training track, and is excited about the opportunity ahead. He has good memories from some of his experiences over here.”
Wallaby team to face the Springboks:
15. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)
14. Dominic Shipperley (Queensland Reds)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs)
12. Pat McCabe (Brumbies)
11. Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds)
10. Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels)
9. Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels)
8. Radike Samo (Queensland Reds)
7. Michael Hooper (Brumbies)
6. Dave Dennis (NSW Waratahs)
5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force, captain)
4. Kane Douglas (NSW Waratahs)
3. Ben Alexander (Brumbies)
2. Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs)
1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)
16. Saia Fainga’a (Queensland Reds)
17. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
18. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)
19. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)
20. Liam Gill (Queensland Reds)
21. Brett Sheehan (Western Force)
22. Anthony Fainga’a (Queensland Reds)