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Clouds hover over Beale and Kepu

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Sportal.co.nz     11 Oct 2011     Getty Images

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans confirmed Beale (hamstring) and Kepu (ankle) require scans after picking up injuries in the brutal quarter-final victory over the Springboks in Wellington.

"Kurtley will have a scan, as will Sekope Kepu, so we will just make sure we know what we're dealing with, but neither of them are grave," Deans said in Auckland on Monday.

"Pat's good, he's recovered very well, the strength's come back quickly."

"He got a couple of stingers and he wasn't comfortable at the time, so we withdrew him from the game at that point but he's recovered very well."

The Wallabies' mixed injury news came as two more All Blacks – starting flyhalf Colin Slade (adductor) and veteran full-back Mils Muliaina (shoulder) - were forced to withdraw from the tournament.

Already missing superstar playmaker Dan Carter's services with a groin injury, and with captain Richie McCaw's workload also being closely observed due to a foot complaint, the latest setbacks threaten to derail the Kiwis' tilt for a second Rugby World Cup victory.

Maligned flyhalf Stephen Donald and winger Hosea Gear have been called into the 30-man squad.

But Deans remains on red alert.

"It makes them harder, to be frank, because it just galvanises them as a group and as a team and this is the ultimate team game," he said.

Meanwhile, Deans feels the Wallabies' 25-year winless run at Eden Park will count for nothing this weekend.

"It's the first occasion we've played them in a semi-final of the World Cup at Eden Park, so there's no history," he declared.

"We're hugely excited, it's fantastic. We know each other well as teams and there's a huge amount of history, there's no more history than between the Wallabies and the All Blacks, and there's a lot of history at World Cup time as well, so it's going to be great."

The Wallabies squad boasts the youngest average age of any of the 20 countries who entered the tournament, but Deans backed his young-guns to handle the furnace that is a World Cup semi-final.

"These blokes are quite experienced now," he said.

"They've experienced the ups and downs of international rugby and you tend to be better for that."

"You're better for some of the adversity you've experienced, a bit wiser in the way you enter contests and that's what you're seeing - you're seeing a young group mature."

South Africa's Craig Joubert will referee the Wallabies-All Blacks fixture while Ireland's Alain Rolland will control the first semi-final between Wales and France on Saturday.