Beale in a race against time
Sportal.co.nz 15 Oct 2011 Getty Images
The 22-year-old, who suffered a minor hamstring injury against South Africa last weekend, ran for the first time this week at Friday's training run in Auckland.
Coach Robbie Deans confirmed he'll give the reigning John Eales medallist more time, but says he won't wait until game day to make a call.
"We'll communicate that decision post captain's run tomorrow morning," Deans said on Friday when asked of Beale's availability.
"He'd have to convince us that he's 100 percent."
"He ran this morning, he did a significant amount of running this morning and he was comfortable, but in his position he's got to be good at top end (speed)."
"He'll have to go again tomorrow morning and show first of all that he's had no ill effects off the back of the work he did today, and then go again and convince himself firstly, and us secondly, that he's good to go."
Deans concedes Beale will be missed if he's unable to play but backed utility Ashley-Cooper to fill the void if required.
Ashley-Cooper will move to fullback if Beale is out, while Anthony Fainga'a will wear the No.13 and Rob Horne will move onto the bench.
"We've had a full week of prep so if Kurtley can't take his place we've had every opportunity to prepare effectively anyway," he said.
"We've prepared the team well, it won't be a distraction to them."
"He (Beale) is part of this group and a big part of the spiritual element of this group, he's very much a source of positivity."
While delighted with the courage his players showed in their 11-9 victory over the Springboks last Sunday, Deans concedes a repeat effort won't suffice against the All Blacks.
"We'll have to bring more to the table ourselves, so ask more of the All Blacks, because if they don't they'll bring a lot the other way," he said.
"It will take a total performance, we'll have to trust ourselves, back ourselves, believe in ourselves, back our systems as well as hang tough when the traffic comes the other way."
Asked if he plans to let Quade Cooper 'off the leash' against the All Blacks, Deans hinted at a repeat of last week's conservative game plan that revolved around kicking for field position.
"From our perspective we have to kick better because we kicked from poor position and we kicked poorly and that just compounded our circumstance," he explained.
"So if and when we kick we need to do it more effectively and if we do that then we'll get more opportunity to play as well."
"And at that point, yes, he's off the leash."
Meanwhile, injured duo Pat McCabe (shoulder) and Sekope Kepu (ankle) were both named in the run-on side and declared themselves certain starters.
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