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Deans faces full-back dilemma

 Oct 02,2012
Written by: SARugby.com Editor
 

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans faces a selection dilemma at full-back for the Test against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday.

With Berrick Barnes and Adam Ashley-Cooper both sidelined through injuries sustained in the loss to South Africa, Deans has to choose between Mike Harris and Pat McCabe for the number 15 jersey against the Pumas.

Luke Morahan has joined the squad as a replacement but Australia's selectors are not keen on starting him due to his late arrival and lack of preparation for the role.

Kurtley Beale was the Wallabies' first-choice full-back last year but Deans indicated that he does not want to move him from the pivot role where he had a good attacking game against the Springboks in Pretoria despite playing on the back foot for most of the game.

"A tough circumstance for (Beale) not only going back to five-eighth but also when you look at the nature of the game," Deans told AAP.

"He didn't get a great platform but he did offer a lot to the group.

"He got us on the front foot through his efforts ... he was great."

Harris moved to full-back during the second half against the Springboks and scored a try but his only recent experience in the position was for the Reds against the Lions in a Super Rugby match where he had difficulty dealing with the high ball.

McCabe played most of the 2011 Super Rugby season at full-back for the Brumbies before being converted to inside centre where has been a standout performer for the Canberra-based franchise and his country.

Meanwhile, the Wallabies received positive news regarding injuries with hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau (head and shoulder), wing Digby Ioane (knee) and number eight Radike Samo (shoulder) all set to recover.

Deans said the trio responded well to treatment and should be available for selection. Australia's team will be announced on Thursday.

Centre Anthony Faingaa has also been cleared of concussion and is set to replace Ashley-Cooper while there's hope lock Sitaleki Timani (hamstring) will also be ruled fit.

Tags: International |  Australia | 
 
 
 
 

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