James O'Connor out for six weeks
April 23, 2012
The Rebels' James O'Connor collides with the Waratahs' Berrick Barnes during their recent Super Rugby clash © Getty Images
James O'Connor is a major doubt for Australia's opening Test of the year against Scotland after he was ruled out of action for six weeks with a lacerated liver.
The 21-year-old, who was in line to retain the Wallabies' playmaker role in the absence of the injured Quade Cooper, picked up the injury during the Rebels' Super Rugby defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday and now looks unlikely to feature against the Scots on June 9.
Initial reports suggested the versatile back had suffered rib damage but subsequent scans revealed his liver was bleeding and he is set to remain in hospital for the next few days. Wallabies doctor Warren MacDonald has since confirmed that O'Connor will not be able to resume contact training for six weeks.
The news is a big blow for coach Robbie Deans as O'Connor was widely expected to fill the No.10 shirt as he did when the Wallabies beat Wales at the end of last year.
Following the one-off Test against Scotland in Newcastle, Australia are set to tackle Wales in a three-Test series with games scheduled for Brisbane (June 9), Melbourne (June 16) and Sydney (June 23).
© 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.