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Kurtley Beale set for Western Force debut in crunch Crusaders clash

By Finn Morton
Kurtley Beale poses during a Western Force Super Rugby media opportunity at Force HQ on April 11, 2024 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Wallabies veteran Kurtley Beale will debut for the Force on Saturday evening when they take on the Crusaders in a crucial Super Rugby Pacific clash out west at Perth’s HBF Park.

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Beale, 35, signed a short-term deal with the Western Force earlier this month that will keep the 95-Test Wallaby at the club until the end of this season.

The 2011 John Eales Medallist has experience in a number of positions across the backline including fly-half and fullback, but has been named to wear the No. 15 jersey in round nine.

Head-to-Head

Last 4 Meetings

Wins
1
Draws
0
Wins
3
Average Points scored
22
36
First try wins
50%
Home team wins
75%

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Beale will start the match at fullback while Australia international Ben Donaldson retains his hold on the starting spot at first five.

Argentina international Santiago Medrano returns to the First XV at tighthead prop, and the inclusion of Will Harrison is the only other change to the Force’s starting side.

Ryan Coxon, Tom Horton and Medrano are the starting front rowers, while former Wallaby Sam Carter joins former Maori All Blacks lock Thomas Franklin in a talented second row.

Will Harrison, Carlo Tizzano and former Hurricane Reed Prinsep round out the forwards.

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Nic White will captain the side from halfback this week, with Ben Donaldson joining the Wallabies veteran in the halves. Hamish Stewart and Sam Spink will line up in the midfield.

Chase Tiatia will start on one wing with Bayley Kuenzle on the other, and then there’s Beale out the back.

This clash between the two bottom sides on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder will get underway at 5:35 pm WST on Saturday.

Western Force to take on Crusaders

  1. Ryan Coxon
  2. Tom Horton
  3. Santiago Medrano
  4. Sam Carter
  5. Thomas Franklin
  6. Will Harris
  7. Carlo Tizzano
  8. Reed Prinsep
  9. Nic White (c)
  10. Ben Donaldson
  11. Chase Tiatia
  12. Hamish Stewart
  13. Sam Spink
  14. Bayley Kuenzle
  15. Kurtley Beale

Replacements

  1. Ben Funnell
  2. Marley Pearce
  3. Tiaan Tauakipulu
  4. Izack Rodda
  5. Michael Wells
  6. Isaak Fines-Leleiwasa
  7. Max Burey
  8. Henry O’Donnell
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Abe 2 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

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T
Turlough 6 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

17 Go to comments
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