O'Connor facing Bledisloe Cup chop - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Connor facing Bledisloe Cup chop

By Darren Walton 19/08/2011 09:33:41 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies wonder boy James O'Connor faces the chop from next Saturday's Bledisloe Cup showdown with the All Blacks in Brisbane after apparently sleeping in and missing a vital team meeting in Sydney.

The Australian Rugby Union has asked the 21-year-old match-winner to explain his absence from Thursday's Rugby World Cup squad announcement at Sydney airport.

Officials at the time of the announcement merely said O'Connor "was unable to be here" when Australia's 30-man squad was revealed, but it is understood the classy utility back is facing a suspension that could threaten his place in the Wallabies' first-choice World Cup line-up.

"James informed us on the morning of the squad announcement that he was unable to be present," an ARU spokesman told AAP on Friday night.

"We have requested James provide a full explanation for his non-attendance.

"Until such time as we have received that ex plantation, we are not in a position to comment further."

O'Connor was one of the heroes of the Wallabies' breakthrough 14-9 victory over the Springboks last Saturday night in Durban, slotting three penalty goals in Australia's first back-to-back Test win in South Africa in 48 years.

But his blemished record, having been fined "several" thousands of dollars for his involvement in a food fight in a Canberra team hotel in 2009, could count against him when selectors pick a team to face New Zealand for next weekend's potential Tri Nations decider at Suncorp Stadium.

Should O'Connor be stood down, selectors would face a quandary with Lachie Turner - who was overlooked for a World Cup spot this week - the only fully fit winger available as a replacement.

Coach Robbie Deans may have to call up returning outside centre Rob Horne and shift Adam Ashley-Cooper to the wing.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news