Beale to spearhead Wallabies

Kurtley Beale has retained the Wallabies No 10 jersey for the Test against France on Saturday, despite the return of Berrick Barnes.

Beale seems to have impressed Robbie Deans at flyhalf as he will play in the key position in Australia’s opening fixture of their European tour. Barnes, who recovered from a lung injury, only finds a place on the bench.

Deans has also decided not to make any changes to the backline that started in the 18-18 Bledisloe Cup draw with the All Blacks in Brisbane in October.

Up front, lock Sitaleki Timani is rested because of a sore back, which sees Kane Douglas partner skipper Nathan Sharpe in the second row. Rob Simmons provides cover on the bench. Tighthead prop Sekope Kepu also gets a start with Ben Alexander injured.

Hooker Stephen Moore returns to action and is named among the reserves. He’s set to become the most capped Wallabies hooker of all-time, eclipsing Jeremy Paul in what should be his 73rd Test.

Wallabies – 15 Mike Harris, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Nathan Sharpe (c), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Radike Samo, 21 Liam Gill, 22 Brett Sheehan, 23 Berrick Barnes.