5 Sep 2012

Deans backs misfiring Beale for Springboks test

6:27 am on 5 September 2012

The Australia coach Robbie Deans has recalled out-of-form utility back Kurtley Beale to the Wallabies starting side for their Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Perth on Saturday.

Beale was demoted to the bench for Australia's second straight defeat to New Zealand in Auckland last month after playing a dreadful match in the opener in Sydney a week earlier.

The 23-year-old slots in at fullback, with Adam Ashley-Cooper shifting to centre to replace the dropped Rob Horne.

Queensland Reds speedster Dom Shipperley will make his debut after being named on the right wing, replacing the injured Drew Mitchell.

Back-rower Scott Higginbotham has been dropped to the bench in favour of 36-year-old Radike Samo, who takes the number eight position in an otherwise unchanged forward pack.

Australia, without a point and bottom of the standings after two rounds, must defeat the Springboks to keep their slim title hopes alive in the inaugural Rugby Championship.