O'Connor returns for Wallabies
September 15, 2011
James O'Connor scored a try after coming on as a replacement against Italy last weekend © Getty Images
Australia head coach Robbie Deans has recalled James O'Connor for Saturday's crunch Rugby World Cup Pool C clash with Ireland in Auckland.
O'Connor landed himself in hot water with the Wallabies management for missing last month's squad announcement but, after serving a one-game ban for his indiscretion, he made a try-scoring return to the fold after coming off the bench in last weekend's 32-6 victory over Italy in North Shore City.
Consequently, it has come as no surprise that he has been chosen to replace Digby Ioane in the Wallabies back-three after the latter suffered a fractured thumb in his country's tournament opener.
Adam Ashley-Cooper switches from the right to the left wing to accommodate O'Connor, whose promotion to the starting line-up, in what is the only change to the starting line-up which faced the Azzurri, creates room on the bench for Drew Mitchell, who battled back from a serious ankle injury sustained in April to secure a place in the Aussies' World Cup panel.
Australia: Kurtley Beale; James O'Connor, Anthony Fainga'a, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander; Dan Vickerman, James Horwill (capt); Rocky Elsom, David Pocock, Radike Samo.
Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, Drew Mitchell.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.