sport

Beale focus on Twickenham task

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

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, as Australia attempt to bounce back from their 33-6 defeat to France.

"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)," Beale said.

"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 in Paris 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 on Friday, 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.

"Turning up and having a go won't be good enough. This English team is a good one and there is going to be fair amount of exceptional play and some pretty tough rugby in between.

"It's not often you get an opportunity in rugby to go from playing against France one week to England which is a big contest if not bigger for Australia.

"Twickenham is a hard place to win but it's always very rewarding when you can."