Kurtley Beale
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Kurtley Beale receives backing from Wallabies mate

WALLABIES coach Ewen McKenzie continues to play down the magnitude of his side's 51-20 loss to the All Blacks in an attempt to rebuild confidence before a Rugby Championship clash with South Africa in Perth on Saturday night.

McKenzie's decision to play Kurtley Beale in the No.10 with a limited preparation has been questioned by some former players, as has the decision not to react to the record number of points put on his side by making changes to the squad.

However, Beale found an ally in Queensland Reds prop James Slipper, named the team's Stan Pilecki player of the year medal winner at the weekend, who said Wallaby teammates had not done enough to help their playmaker against the Kiwis.

Slipper said it was crucial Beale was protected against the massive Springbok forwards. South Africa has opened its Rugby Championship with two wins over Argentina.