Beale mystery compounds Tahs’ halfback crisis
THE Waratahs have been forced to call up their fourth-string halfback from Sydney club rugby for a potential debut in Argentina but there not yet been a decision about whether Kurtley Beale's rib damage will rule him out.
Norths halfback Nick Duffy has flown to Argentina to join the Tahs ahead of the Jaguares clash on Sunday, after bench halfback Mitch Short picked up a knee injury in his decisive cameo in Durban.
On debut, Short scored the try for NSW that helped secure a 24-all draw with the Sharks.
But the youngster also suffered an injury that has ruled him out of the Waratahs' first ever Super Rugby game in Buenos Aires.
Duffy, 21, is a former Australian schools halfback who made his debut for Norths first grade side last year, and he later played for the Sydney Rays in the NRC also.
The Waratahs' call up of Duffy would suggest Nick Phipps' calf injury remains a concern and could keep him sideline for some time.
With only two contracted halfbacks, the Waratahs will be crossing their fingers nothing happens to first-choice No.9 Jake Gordon.
Beale left the field with a rib injury in the first half of the Tahs' game against the Stormers but he still flew to Argentina with the side.
There has been no word from the Waratahs camp that Beale has been ruled out, and centre partner Lalakai Foketi said the star No.12 had been showing positive signs.
"Kurtley is improving as the days go by but it'll be up to the coaches and the medical staff when they make a decision but I am not too sure at this stage," he said.
If Beale is ruled out, Foketi would likely to be shifted into No.12 and Curtis Rona moved to outside centre.
Alex Newsome, Taqele Naiyaravoro or Bryce Hegarty would then come into the starting side.
Foketi, who has been a superb addition to the team after a few years away from Aussie rugby in France and New Zealand, said the Tahs weren't concerned about the huge demands of travelling around the world in a fortnight.
"If we prepare well and do the things right, our management team and the coaching staff, they know what's best for us," Foketi said.
"If we just follow that, we will be ready to go. But it is a hard task coming on the road, playing two South African teams and Argentina upfront, it's a hard task but we know if we can do the things we want to do, hopefully we will come away with the W this weekend."