Beale returns to Wallabies for 3rd rugby test
By Neil Frankland ,AP
June 20, 2012, 12:27 am TWN
MELBOURNE -- Kurtley Beale has been recalled to Australia's starting lineup for the first time since last year's Rugby World Cup and will play against Wales on Saturday despite a lengthy absence due to injury and a pending police investigation.
Utility back Mike Harris, who came on to kick the winning penalty after the final siren in the second test, was omitted from the squad announced Tuesday for the Sydney test, along with winger Cooper Vuna, who evaded suspension for a dangerous tackle on Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny.
Australia clinched the series against Six Nations champion Wales with a 25-23 win at Melbourne on Saturday, after claiming the opening match at Brisbane 27-19.
Beale has been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in last month's Super 15 match between the Melbourne Rebels and Wellington Hurricanes.
He has also had problems off the field and faces an assault charge stemming from an alleged incident at a Brisbane hotel only days before the first test.
The ARU had been investigating allegations that Beale and Wallabies teammate Quade Cooper were involved in a scuffle with security guards outside the Victory Hotel in downtown Brisbane in the early hours of June 8. The ARU has put its internal disciplinary process on hold pending a police investigation, leaving Beale to be eligible for international selection in the interim.
Australia coach Robbie Deans said he has resisted the temptation to bring Beale back early after injuries among Australia's backline limited the Wallabies' playmaking options.
With Beale's return, Adam Ashley Cooper moves to the wing to replace Vuna, while lock Sitaleki Timani returns at expense of Rob Simians after recovering from a shoulder injury.