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Australian Rugby
O'Connor eyes third Test return
ESPN Staff
August 15, 2012
Australia's James O'Connor seems to be enjoying himself during training, Saxton Park Oval, Nelson, New Zealand, September 29, 2011
James O'Connor hopes to be back for the South Africa Test © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: James O'Connor
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Teams: Australia

Versatile back James O'Connor has set his sights on an international return in the third game of the Rugby Championship when the Wallabies face South Africa in Perth.

O'Connor will definitely miss the first two Tests of the new tournament with a hamstring strain but is hopeful of making the clash on September 8. He claims he is reluctant to etch in a definite date but says "I'd love to play in that test but I'll leave it at that".

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is also hopeful of having O'Connor at his disposal for the third match but like the 22-year-old, he does not want to claim it will definitely happen.

"He's working very hard, he's making good progress, we will not promote him before he's ready," Deans told stuff.co.nz. "The ways he plays the game, a recurrent hamstring injury would not be a good scene for him."

O'Connor has been used across the back-three for the Wallabies as well as at fly-half and inside centre and it is at 12 where the 37-cap star wants to turn out. O'Connor said: "I want to be around the ball a little bit more. My strength and what I can give to the team is that second ball player role. That's where I'd like to play."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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