13 Sep 2011

O'Connor puts his hand up in redemptive display against Italy

8:15 am on 13 September 2011

With Digby Ioane's fractured thumb ruling him out until at least the World Cup quarter-finals, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is under pressure to start the out of favour James O'Connor on the wing against Ireland on Saturday.

Wellington-born Ioane is set to have surgery and his enforced absence could mean Deans welcomes O'Connor back in from the cold, especially after the 21-year-old Auckland-born utility came off the bench against Italy on the weekend, scored a try and inspired the 32-6 World Cup win.

But redemption seems some way off for O'Connor, three weeks after letting down his team-mates by failing to show up to the side's unveiling in Sydney... Wallabies assistant coach David Nucifora isn't exactly ringing his endorsement.