O'Connor to miss Italy Test for funeral - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Connor to miss Italy Test for funeral

15/11/2010 12:49:54 PM Comments (0)

Young star James O'Connor will miss the Wallabies' Test against Italy this weekend after flying home to attend a friend's funeral.

Winger and goalkicker O'Connor wore a black armband in his friend's honour in the 35-18 loss to England at Twickenham on Saturday and left the tour squad on Sunday.

An Australian Rugby Union spokesperson said the timing of the funeral meant he would not rejoin the Wallabies in time to play in the Italy Test in Florence on Saturday (early Sunday AEDT).

However he would be back in plenty of time for the following Test against France in Paris a week later.

His absence this week opens the door for another winger, likely Lachie Turner, to grab a Test berth and impress coach Robbie Deans.

Meanwhile, halfback Will Genia is hopeful of recovering from a rib injury in time to play against Italy.

Genia left the Twickenham pitch in pain after suffering the injury early in the second half against England.

Wallabies medical staff were confident enough to not send Genia for an X-ray, believing it is a cartilage problem or severe bone bruising.

"I was a bit sore, (I) got taken off a bit early which was disappointing," Genia said.

"It's not as sore as it was yesterday and it's more just achey pain than sharp pain now, which is really positive according to the doc.

"I should be right for selection.

"I should be right to train on Monday and Tuesday because the doc said it's just whether you can tolerate the pain."

The Australian squad have arrived in the Irish city of Limerick, where a second string Wallabies outfit will take on powerhouse province Munster at Thomond Park on Tuesday night (0700 Wednesday AEDT)

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