17 Aug 2012

Barnes will call the shots for Wallabies

5:54 am on 17 August 2012

The Wallabies insist Berrick Barnes will be the man calling the shots against the All Blacks in Sydney tomorrow night but admit their success relies largely on the playmaking abilities of fullback Kurtley Beale.

With Quade Cooper left out of the side for the opening test of the new Rugby Championship and James O'Connor out through injury, the pressure falls on Beale to provide the X-factor for the Wallabies as they fight to avoid a decade of Bledisloe misery.

Beale's had a frustrating run of injuries and also some off-field dramas with an assault charge stemming from a nightclub incident in Brisbane yet to be resolved.

However O'Connor who's Beale's Melbourne Rebels teamate, believes Beale's the type of player who'll adapt to his big-match responsibilities regardless of his preparation.