The Melbourne Rebels' ambitions of a winning start to their Super Rugby campaign have been dealt a heavy blow with Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale ruled out of tomorrow's clash with the New South Wales Waratahs.
A troublesome hamstring means veteran Mark Gerrard will take over at fullback.
After finishing a distant last on the Super Rugby ladder in their inaugural season in 2011, the Rebels, who had a first-round bye, are looking for a fast start this year.
They still have vivid memories of being thrashed 43-nil by the Waratahs in the corresponding fixture last year.
Gerrard says they've been targeting the start of the season and says the blossoming combination between five-eighth Danny Cipriani and star recruit James O'Connor was vital to their chances.