O'Connor to miss Australia's end of year tour
October 18, 2012
Wallabies international James O'Connor will not return to action until next year © Getty Images
Australia have been dealt a fresh injury blow with the news that playmaker James O'Connor will not be fit for their end of year tour of Europe.
The 23-year-old had hoped to make his international return next month but he has failed to recover from a hamstring injury and has been ruled out of action until next year by medics. The news caps a disappointing year for O'Connor who was sidelined with a lacerated liver during the Super Rugby season before being struck down with a hamstring problem during the rehabilitation process in June.
O'Connor took to Twitter to relay the bad news, writing: "Just had meeting with doc looks like ill be in rehab til after spring tour. Gutted I can't play but no risks with huge year ahead in 2013."
He later added: "Been a tough year but also many positives have come from it,'' he said in another post."
The Wallabies are hoping that captain and second row James Horwill will recover from a hamstring injury and be available for the Tests against France, England, Italy and Wales but the return of flanker David Pocock (knee) is not so certain.
Hooker Stephen Moore (hamstring) is another major doubt while playmaker Quade Cooper (knee) is another expected to be sidelined. Scrum-half Will Genia (knee) and utility back Berrick Barnes (punctured lung) have also been ruled out.
Injuries are also plaguing the Wallabies preparations for their final Bledisloe Cup clash of the year against New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday. Prop Ben Alexander was the latest to succumb to injury with a wrist problem and he will be replaced by James Slipper at tight-head for the Suncorp Stadium clash with Sekope Kepu providing cover from the bench.
The Wallabies had already seen Digby Ioane and Dom Shipperley pull out in the build-up to the match, while Saia Fainga'a was forced to withdraw from the replacements after breaking his hand in training.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup