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    Rebels keep Beale at flyhalf

    2013-02-25 11:45
    Sydney - The Melbourne Rebels won't shift injured flyhalf Kurtley Beale out of the firing line for the clash with his old Super Rugby side the Waratahs.

    Beale's shoulder "popped out" momentarily during the second half of his team's 30-13 loss to the Brumbies at AAMI Park.

    Worryingly, the injury also occurred twice last year but the Rebels say they have no concerns about Beale requiring surgery or being sidelined for a lengthy spell.

    "All signs at the moment are that he will be right," said coach Damien Hill.

    "If you play a lot of footy in the front-line you're going to get tested defensively more often than not.

    "There are players with (injuries to their) ankles, elbows, knees; they all manage them.

    "They rarely go into a game feeling 100 percent - there's always something they're managing.

    "It's just the nature of contact sport."

    Hill said he would have brought Beale from the field if fullback James O'Connor was able to return from a head knock and shifted him to the playmaker's role.

    But Beale won't be moved out of the front line of defence and replaced by O'Connor against NSW in Sydney on Friday.

    "Not at this stage," said Hill.

    Beale started in red-hot form against the Brumbies but faded as his team failed to make the most of their opportunities and surrendered a 13-12 half-time lead.

    "That's what it boiled down to," Hill said.

    "The opportunities the Brumbies had, they took."

    Hill said his side was still in the contest until the 55th minute but injuries to Beale, O'Connor, Scott Higginbotham and Rory Sidey and a yellow card to Jarrod Saffy ruled out a fightback.

    "I'm not judging them too harshly," he said.

    "There was a lot happening in that time to react to.

    "The positive for me was their effort."

    With O'Connor a certainty to play, Hill didn't forecast any changes to the starting 15, although there could be some new faces on the bench.

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