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Beale out of Rebels Super Rugby trial
By Melissa Woods
15:25 AEST Fri Feb 1 2013

Melbourne Rebels playmaker Kurtley Beale will be given another week's break to ensure he's primed for the Super Rugby kick-off against the Western Force.

Beale was pencilled in to play against the Waratahs in a pre-season trial in Hobart on Saturday afternoon but coach Damien Hill decided to take a cautious approach.

Hill said there was no serious injury issue with Beale but he was coming off a taxing 2012 with the Australian team, and this year with the touring British and Irish Lions loomed even larger.

"Last year Kurtley trained and played for 43 weeks straight and we want to ensure he has a solid base before he begins what will be a huge year for him," Hill said.

Beale was going to start at fullback for the Rebels but his withdrawal gives Melbourne teenager Kemu Valetini an opportunity.

Valetini was part of the historic Australian Schoolboy side's win over New Zealand in Christchurch late last year, as well as playing for the Rebel Rising Team (Rebel B team) while still high school.

The 18-year-old doesn't have a mobile phone and had to rely on his mum relaying the information of his selection.

"I have been able to train with the team in the off-season as part of the Rebels Rugby squad, but never thought I would have had the chance to play this year," said Valetini.

"To get an opportunity to play alongside all these great players is a huge honour for my family and I.

Valetini has grown up in Melbourne with his five brothers and two sisters and Hill said he had long been on the Rebels' radar.

"We are looking forward to seeing him step up to another level.

"He is an extremely skilful player for his age.

"He has the ability to play every position in the backline, and is an exceptional goal kicker."

Hill said the 31 players to be used at North Hobart Oval were itching to get some game time after a long pre-season.

They will play a second and final trial against the Hurricanes in Geelong next week before opening the season against the Force at AAMI Park on Friday, February 15.

"It will give us a chance to see where we're at.

"We had a good pre-season and now this is the first test to see how it holds up under the pressure of a game."


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