18 Aug 2009

Winless Wallabies turn to O'Connor and Elsom

4:15 pm on 18 August 2009

The New Zealand-born teenage fullback James O'Connor and flanker Rocky Elsom have been added to the Australian team for Saturday's Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand in Sydney.

They've been called up to replace the injured duo of Stirling Mortlock and Wycliff Palu in a reshuffled Wallabies side that needs to win the match to stay alive in the series.

With Mortlock unavailable, the openside flanker George Smith will lead the side for the fourth time while the utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper moves to centre to allow O'Connor into the starting side.

Coach Robbie Deans says the 19-year-old showed in Cape Town that he's quite capable of handling himself at test level.

Elsom has not played a test for Australia for more than a year after spending the off-season in Ireland.