Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Beale focused on Twickenham task

Kurtley Beale is refusing to be distracted by events back in Australia

Australia fly-half Kurtley Beale has insisted an upcoming court appearance will not distract him from the job of beating England.

Beale will face an assault charge in Brisbane's magistrates court on February 6 for allegedly hitting a pub bouncer, the Queensland Justice Department confirmed on Friday. The 23-year-old said after Australia's captain's run at Twickenham that he needed to speak to his lawyer because he had not heard anything official.

But Beale vowed the off-field issues would not affect his performance on Saturday, and said: "I've got an important job to do and I don't want to let my team-mates down (by allowing anything to distract me). My role is to give the boys direction."

Beale scored two tries at Twickenham in 2010 but his sizzling performance was overshadowed by Chris Ashton's try from the back of beyond and England's record 35-18 victory.

Australia return to Twickenham in a difficult place, having been mauled by the French 33-6 in Paris on Saturday and hit by injuries to David Pocock, Pat McCabe and Kane Douglas plus Rob Simmons' suspension.

But veteran captain Nathan Sharpe cut a determined figure at Twickenham, leading a Wallaby side with a point to prove.

"When you are playing Test match rugby for your country you are always under pressure. It's nothing new for us. The guys are pretty excited," Sharpe said.

"I would love to beat England.

"The disappointment of last week was how we played after getting some consistency towards the end of the Rugby Championship.

"You never get a shot at redeeming yourself for a game you have dropped, but this is a great opportunity to bounce back. This is a test of our character but it will take more than character to win."

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