SUPER 15 RUGBY
Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has revealed he requires foot surgery to remove a bone spur but is holding off until the injury becomes unbearable.
Beale flew out for Auckland on Thursday morning with the NSW Waratahs and will line up against the Blues in Friday's Super Rugby showdown at Eden Park after being given the green light to play.
The midfield playmaker limped off before half-time in last week's win over the Bulls, with what was thought to be a jarred ankle.
Beale, though, on Thursday admitted he'd played the first eight games of the season with a more sinister injury to his left foot.
"There's a bit of a spur in there," he said.
"So obviously at the beginning of the season I always knew that there'd be a bit of pain here and there and it's just unfortunate that it got jarred a little bit more than it had in previous instances."
Beale said he "definitely" needed surgery that he expected to sideline him for four-to-six weeks "when I get a bit of time off".
"At the moment, the medical staff here [at the Waratahs] are doing a fine job at managing it and we've got a really good understanding there of how to approach it," he said.
Unlike when the Australian Rugby Union intervened earlier this month and ruled fellow NSW star Israel Folau out of a Super Rugby match with a throat injury, Beale said he was only being guided by the Waratahs doctors.
"I know my body and how it copes with certain injuries and it's great how I can have a really good medical relationship here with the Tahs and it's pretty mutual."
After stringing together eight straight games for the first time since 2011, the in-form Beale is desperate to avoid surgery for as long as possible.
But the 26-year-old knows he could be sidelined at any moment.
"You go into every game knowing that it could be risky. It's a contact sport," Beale said.
"It's just unfortunate that there is a minor problem there, but it's managed - easily managed - and that's the best thing about it."
Beale challenged the Waratahs' star-studded backs to finally deliver a polished performance and put the Blues to the sword.
The Waratahs are chasing just their second Super victory over the Blues at Eden Park in 18 years and Beale admits the onus is on his Test-strength backline to produce the goods.
The Waratahs have managed to score just four tries in their past four games but, in a major boost for the team, Beale will reunite with try-scoring king Folau for only the second time in more than a month.
"There's obviously a voodoo there for a lot of foreign players, especially when it's rainy and windy, it's probably not the best place to play," Beale said.
"But we've got a really good mindset about getting over there and playing some good footy." AAP