Wallaby star Kurtley Beale is planning on playing through the pain barrier in order to face the Lions this summer.
Beale is currently struggling with a shoulder injury but is postponing the necessary treatment until after Britain and Ireland’s elite come calling in June and July.
The 24-year-old utility back requires surgery on a problem he initially picked up in November but the lure of the Lions means he’s keen to put off the operation until later in the year.
“I did it last year against England on the spring tour just before halftime and I carried on for the full game,” said Beale, who aggravated the injury in the Rebels’ loss to the Brumbies on Friday night.
“I can still play with it. There is a little bit of pain to cope with. I did that last week and it was a bit too much.
“Later on in the year it will definitely require surgery.
“I'll worry about that more later in the year. I've got some footy games ahead of me if the shoulder pulls up fine after each week.
“Obviously, the Lions tour is a big target.
“Combining the Wallabies medical staff and the Melbourne medical staff, I'm in really good hands in trying to rehabilitate my shoulder to get it stronger and fitter and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to do that.”
Despite the obvious pain he suffered in the second round of Super XV action against the Brumbies, Beale has been named in the Rebels’ side for the trip to the Waratahs this weekend.
Beale, who was seen as the world’s best full back but ended the season as first-choice fly-half for the Wallabies, will start in the No10 shirt in Sydney.
The former Waratah will be looking to guide the Rebels to the second win of the campaign, after they began the season with a home success against the Force before slipping to a comprehensive loss to David Pocock and co at AAMI Park a week later.
He’s expecting some extra hostile treatment given his Waratahs past and news of his injury, but Beale insists there are plans in place to ensure he can play his normal game despite the shoulder worries.
"I know the NSW pack will be targeting me in some areas," added Beale.
"That's what happened last weekend and it's probably why the injury happened.
"We've got a plan in place. At times, I might drop out the back and might help the counter out a bit."