Kurtley Beale out for rest of year for surgery

NICK MULVENNEY
Last updated 19:44 26/07/2013
Kurtley Beale
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BAD YEAR: Kurtley Beale in action for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions.

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Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale has been ruled out for the year after being told by new coach Ewen McKenzie to have an operation on his shoulder and come back fit and healthy next year.

Beale, who has had a torrid year with several off-field problems, played in all three tests in the British and Irish Lions series but has been carrying the injury since last year.

''It's pretty simple, Kurtley's had a shoulder injury for more than a year now,'' McKenzie, who took over from Robbie Deans after the Lions series defeat, said on Friday.

''As a result, he's missed some football. I've been talking to the medical side of the business and there's a lot of guys carrying damage.

''When you're carrying a shoulder injury for a long period of time it has an impact on your game. We felt the best thing for him was to get it fixed.

''By doing it now it allows him the opportunity of a pre-season and then he can play a lot of Super Rugby and be 100 per cent to play test football next year,'' added McKenzie, who gave Beale his Super Rugby debut when he was still a teenager.

Beale, capped 39 times for the Wallabies, is almost certain to re-sign with the Waratahs over the next month and draw a line under his troubled two years with the Melbourne Rebels.

The richly-talented 24-year-old's unhappy time in Melbourne culminated in a drunken assault on captain Gareth Delve and team mate Cooper Vuna in South Africa in March.

Another infraction of the team's disciplinary code saw Beale stood down indefinitely by the Rebels and return to his home city of Sydney to undergo counselling for issues relating to alcohol abuse.

Even the Lions series was not without off-field incident for Beale, who was photographed with team mate James O'Connor at a fast food restaurant during the week of the second test.

The failure to control the antics of the pair was behind some of the criticism of Deans, who departed in the wake of the 41-16 hammering in the third Lions test.

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- Reuters

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