Flying Australia fullback Kurtley Beale missed Wednesday's training session to continue treatment on an injured hamstring ahead of this weekend's World Cup semifinal against New Zealand.
Beale is rated "touch and go" to play in Sunday's crunch match against the All Blacks, but skipper James Horwill said the Wallabies hoped the attacking back would be fit to face the All Blacks at Auckland's Eden Park on Sunday.
"We're still optimistic, he's working hard on his rehab and trying to do everything he can, but that's up to the medical staff and selectors to make that decision when the time comes to select the team," Horwill said Wednesday.
"He wasn't there today so we had to train with someone else in his spot, so we'll work on that," the Wallaby skipper explained.
It will be a massive blow to the Wallabies hopes of qualifying for the final if Beale is not passed fit as he has been on top form the entire season, cutting defences to pieces with his electric counter attacking ability.
Prop Sekope Kepu kept off his injured ankle on Wednesday, while centre Pat McCabe trained after coming off in last Sunday's 11-9 quarterfinal win over defending champions South Africa with a shoulder 'stinger.'
The semifinal clash between the two top-ranked teams in the world looks to be finely poised.
The Wallabies finished on top the last time the sides met, when they clinched the Tri-Nations title with an impressive victory in Brisbane, but they have not managed to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand in some time with the World Cup hosts emerging victorious when the two sides squared off at Eden Park earlier in the season.
The Australians came through a tense and bruising quarterfinal with the defending champion Springboks and they will be hopeful of having enough left in the tank to overcome the All Blacks who have also had a few injury issues.
The Wallabies' team will be announced on Friday.
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