Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rugby Union World Cup 2011 Bronze Medal Final (in New Zealand) 12BET preview:10/21 3:30PM(GMT+8)

DANGER-MAN Kurtley Beale returns at full-back for Australia for Friday night's World Cup third-place play-off with Wales at Auckland's Eden Park.

The devastating runner missed their 20-6 semi-final defeat to hosts and tournament favourites New Zealand last Sunday.

Wallaby coach Robbie Deans has made seven changes for the battle for the bronze medal, bringing in a new front-row, giving lock Nathan Sharpe his 100th cap and keeping just David Pocock of the back-row which started against the All Blacks.

Australia have been hit hard by injuries with Berrick Barnes replacing Pat McCabe at inside-centre and Adam Ashley-Cooper moving to outside-centre from full-back in place of Anthony Faingaa.

Their back division to face Wales is far better than that which took on New Zealand while blindside flanker Scott Higginbotham is a wonderful athlete and one of Australian rugby's hottest prospects.

But the absence of injured hooker Stephen Moore, in particular, raises major question-marks over their scrum and the accuracy of their throwing in to the line-out.

On paper, Wales should have the beating of them at the set-piece but they will have to quell the expertise of David Pocock at the breakdown. -


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