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Beale bracing for extra traffic against Waratahs
February 28, 2013
Kurtley Beale is bracing for extra traffic against the Waratahs as they look to test his troublesome shoulder that will eventually require surgery
Kurtley Beale first sustained his shoulder injury against England in 2012, and he will require surgery. © Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels fly-half Kurtley Beale is expecting New South Wales Waratahs to target his troublesome left shoulder which he says will definitely require an operation later this year.

Beale's shoulder popped out and in during last week's 30-13 Super Rugby loss to the Brumbies but he's been given the all clear to face his former team the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. The Wallabies star sustained the injury playing for Australia against England at Twickenham in November.

"I can still play with it. There is a little bit of pain to cope with. I did that last week. It was a bit too much I think," Beale said. "Later on in the year, it will definitely require surgery. I'll worry about that more later in the year. I've got some footy games ahead of me if the shoulder pulls up fine after each week. Obviously, the Lions Tour is a big target."

Beale is bracing for plenty of extra traffic coming his way from the big Waratahs pack, as did the Brumbies last weekend.

"I know the NSW pack will be targeting me in some areas," Beale said. "That's what happened last weekend and it's probably why the injury happened. We've got a plan in place. At times, I might drop out the back and might help the counter out a bit."

Fullback James O'Connor, who will captain the Rebels for the first time with No.8 Gareth Delve sidelined with a shoulder injury, was delighted Beale received the all clear.

"Talking to him, he feels good and if Kurtley couldn't give his best for the team, he wouldn't be out there," O'Connor said.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is searching for his first win at the franchise and has huge respect for the Rebels who have Wallabies enforcer Scott Higginbotham taking over from Delve at No.8.

"It's pretty clear that they've got a very strong forward pack who can give them a platform and the two lads (Beale and O'Connor) out the back go from one side to the other and try to get the mismatch and then they've got some speed as well," Cheika said.

Beale predicts his friend and Waratahs fullback Israel Folau will make amends for his underwhelming debut against the Reds.

"I thought he went OK. A few people are getting into him about dropped balls but he's a professional athlete and everyone has those days. I'm sure he'll bounce back - hopefully not tomorrow night," Beale said.

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