'Tahs look to Beale to provide spark at Ellis Park
Johannesburg - Waratahs scrumhalf Nick Phipps has paid tribute to centre Kurtley Beale, claiming that he is their key player ahead of the Super Rugby semi-final against the Lions.
The 'Tahs booked their place in the last four with a dramatic 30-23 win over the Highlanders in Sydney, but in order to progress any further, they are going to have to make Super Rugby history.
The Sydneysiders never won a Super Rugby playoff match in South Africa and head into Saturday's clash at Ellis Park with the odds stacked against them.
According to Phipps, they are relying on Beale to give them the edge.
"KB's that man for us, he's our spark," Phipps told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"His ability to turn nothing into something and his control... he wants to be in that leadership role and if he's playing great footy, we're playing great footy.
"So, we'll put the big boy on ice and make sure he's ready to go."
The Waratahs had little time to celebrate their victory in the gruelling contest against the Highlanders before boarding a plane to South Africa.
However, Phipps has claimed not to be concerned by this.
"It's no big issue; everyone's in great spirits and quite antsy (after not training on Tuesday)," he said.
"We like to play quick, unrelenting footy (and that won't change)."
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 15:05.