NSW Waratahs playmaker Kurtley Beale has been left out of the side named to face the Highlanders in Saturday’s Super Rugby semi-final in Sydney.
Beale has been battling a quadriceps injury, only managing a brief jog on Thursday at training.
His place has been taken by Matt Carraro, a last-minute replacement for Beale in the final regular-season game of the year against Queensland.
The Waratahs released a statement a couple of hours after Thursday’s session to say Beale had not been able to complete the tasks set for him at training.
It’s believed Beale was initially expected to have a couple of fitness tests leading up to the match, but this latest setback looks to have ruled him out of the clash with the Otago-based Highlanders.
“He had a little runaround today and it might be a precautionary thing he held off that last bit,” said Waratahs lock Will Skelton.
In some good news for the defending Super Rugby champions, Rob Horne looks to have overcome a calf injury, with the speedster training strongly and has been named on the wing.
Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps is tipping an expansive game against arguably the most-exciting team in Super Rugby.
“They are a bit like us, they like to throw the ball around and have a crack and it should be entertaining for the crowd to come and watch,” he said.
NSW Waratahs: Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Carraro, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Jacques Potgieter, David Dennis (capt), Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Res: Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Mitchell Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Patrick McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Jono Lance, Peter Betham.