O'Connor handed fly-half role
November 24, 2011
O'Connor starts at fly-half for the Wallabies with Cooper injured © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has handed the fly-half berth to James O'Connor for their clash against the Barbarians on Saturday at Twickenham.
First choice fly-half Quade Cooper is currently nursing a long-term injury and it is O'Connor who will start in the playmaker role with Berrick Barnes playing at inside centre. Barnes took the fly-half reins in their bronze final against Wales at the end of the World Cup when Cooper limped of the field and took the man of the match award in the process.
David Pocock captains the side with World Cup skipper James Horwill named on the bench with Deans stating this is just a one off. "We just felt this was a good opportunity, both to lessen the load on James, while also giving David the chance to gain experience captaining the side."
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Digby Ioane, James O'Connor, Will Genia; James Slipper, Tatafu Polota Nau, Salesi Ma'afu, Rob Simmons, Nathan Sharpe, Scott Higginbotham, David Pocock, Ben McCalman
Replacements: Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, James Horwill, Dave Dennis, Matt Hodgson, Nick Phipps, Ben Tapuai
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal