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.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers