10 Feb 2009

Beale to start at first five eight for Waratahs

7:25 am on 10 February 2009

Kurtley Beale has won the hotly contested first five battle for the New South Wales Waratahs' Super 14 opener against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

Bealey tussled with Daniel Halangahu for the number 10 jersey in the preseason.

Coach Chris Hickey says they achieved what they needed to achieve through the trials and the players they've selected for round one all deserve their places in the team.

Eleven of the players who featured in last season's final have been retained for the encounter.

Scott Fava will become the first player to represent all four Australian Super 14 sides after being named at number eight.

Wycliff Palu, the 2008 Matthew Burke Cup winner, makes his return from shoulder surgery off the bench.

Rugby league convert Timana Tahu will start at inside centre after a request from Wallabies coach Robbie Deans to move him in from the wing.