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.
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance