Thursday, April 26, 2012

Injury blow for O'Connor

The Wallabies have been dealt a potential blow with news Melbourne Rebels full-back James O'Connor is a doubt for the Tests against Scotland and Wales in June because of a lacerated liver.
Rugby previews expect the 21-year-old  to stay in hospital in Sydney for the remainder of the week and early reports have indicated he will not resume contact training for six weeks.
O'Connor took an accidental knee to the ribs in a heavy collision with Wallabies team-mate Berrick
Barnes in Saturday's Super Rugby defeat by the Waratahs.
It means he could miss the start of the Wallabies' 2012 campaign and a one-off Test against Scotland in Newcastle on June 5 before the visit of RBS 6 Nations winners Wales to Australia for a three-Test series.
Early reports suggest O'Connor could be available for the second Test against Warren Gatland's men in Melbourne on June 16, subject to his rehabilitation, although head coach Robbie Deans is unlikely to take any risks.
Another blow to Deans is the loss to injury of Queensland Reds centre Ben Tapuai, who could be missing for three months.
The 23-year-old, who made his Test debut against Wales in Cardiff in November, broke his collarbone in the Reds' loss to the Stormers on Saturday night - a result that went against the majority of the online bets placed on the game -and he now needs surgery.
Reports have suggested it is highly unlikely he will play any further part in the Reds' Super Rugby campaign.
The Reds will regroup and leave on Wednesday for New Zealand to take on the Blues in Auckland, where flyer Digby Ioane will return from a five-week suspension.

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