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Wallabies to wait on Beale

Australia will give full-back Kurtley Beale every chance to prove his fitness for Sunday's semi-final against New Zealand.

Beale is recovering from a left hamstring strain that has twice forced him off the field during the tournament, most recently in Australia's quarter-final victory over South Africa.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has named Beale in his provisional starting line-up but he has also outlined a contingency plan that would see Adam Ashley-Cooper switch to full-back and Anthony Fainga'a start at outside centre if Beale misses out.

"We will leave it as long as we can before making a decision," Deans said.

"It will be tough on Kurtley if he has to miss this one, but we will take no chances.

"If he can't play, he will contribute off the field as he always does."



Halfpenny hails Gatland talents

Leigh Halfpenny has hailed Wales coach Warren Gatland's talent-spotting ability ahead of tomorrow's semi-final showdown with France.

Full-back Halfpenny, 22, will be among eight players aged 23 or under in Wales' matchday group for the Eden Park clash.

Such a statistic is testament to Gatland's belief in young players, many of whom have taken this World Cup by storm.

"Warren spots talent, and once he sees that he believes in the player and brings him in," Halfpenny said. "It has brought a new dimension to the team, and it is paying off.

"We have just gone about our business quietly and have always believed we could be serious contenders. We have strength in depth."



Surgery success for Kiwis' Carter

NEW Zealand star Dan Carter has undergone surgery on the groin injury that ended his World Cup campaign.

The All Blacks fly-half tore a tendon in his groin during New Zealand's final practice session before tackling Pool A opponents Canada 12 days ago.

Carter had an operation in Melbourne on Monday, and flew back to Auckland two days later. He said the surgery to repair the tendon "went well" and he will be concentrating on his rehabilitation.

He hopes to be recovered after about 12 weeks.