sport

Beale, White axed by Australia

Australia have axed Kurtley Beale and Nic White as they look to kick-start their Rugby Championship campaign against South Africa.

Having drawn their opening clash against the All Blacks in Sydney, the Wallabies were on the wrong end of a 51-20 humiliation in the return match in Auckland.

And the half-back pairing of Beale and White have paid the price as Australia prepare to take on South Africa – who won their two games against Argentina – in Perth.

Beale and White drop to the bench for Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps to start, with coach Ewen McKenzie also calling in James Hanson and Tevita Kuridrani.

Hanson replaces injured hooker Nathan Charles, while the retirement of Pat McCabe means Kuridrani comes into the side at outside centre with Adam Ashley-Cooper switching to the wing.

"While the size of the challenge isn't any easier this week, the South Africans do play a unique brand of rugby which we will need to adjust to," McKenzie said.

"That's reflected in our selections somewhat, where we feel the partnership of Nick and Bernard will best suit the style of game we'll be trying to play.

"They've got a proven combination at a Super Rugby level and we look forward to seeing how that translates into the Test environment.

"It's naturally disappointing for the two guys who missed out on the starting team in Nic and Kurtley, but the reality is we have a lot of good players in those playmaking positions.

"We expect them to respond in a positive manner and to make an impact playing an important role in how we close out the match."

McKenzie has opted for a 6:2 split on the bench, James Horwill, Matt Hodgson and Saia Fainga'a handed recalls.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 1 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 3 Sekope Kepu, 4 Sam Carter, 5 Rob Simmons, , 6 Scott Fardy, 7 Michael Hooper (capt), 8 Wycliff Palu .Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 James Horwill, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Matt Hodgson, 22 Nic White, 23 Kurtley Beale