Pool C latest – No room for O’Connor

Keo.co.za brings you the latest World Cup news from Pool C.

No room for O’Connor – Australia have named the same starting line-up that ran on against the All Blacks a fortnight ago to face Italy.

That means James O’Connor, who missed that Test in Brisbane due to suspension, has to be content with a spot on the wood for their tournament opener in North Habour, Auckland.

James O’Connor was named on the bench for Australia’s World Cup opener against Italy after coach Robbie Deans stuck with a winning team and opted against recalling the winger following his one-game suspension for indiscipline. There are two other changes among the substitutes, with prop James Slipper and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau coming in for Saia Fainga’a and Salesi Ma’afu.

‘Their [Italy's] last Six Nations outing was a very good performance, they put the French away. We know we have to hit the ground running and that’s what we are hoping to do,’ coach Robbie Deans said.

‘It is definitely our best line-up because we want to win and we have a lot of respect for the Italian side. I have watched them play some great rugby and watched them develop.’

Asked for his assessment of Italy, Australia captain James Horwill said: ‘Their set piece is quite intimidating. We have watched plenty of footage from the Six Nations and the scrum is a real weapon for Italy and it is something we have identified and work on.’

Australia - 15-Kurtley Beale, 14-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13-Anthony Fainga’a, 12-Pat McCabe, 11-Digby Ioane, 10-Quade Cooper, 9-Will Genia, 8-Radike Samo, 7-David Pocock, 6-Rocky Elsom, 5-James Horwill (captain), 4-Dan Vickerman, 3-Ben Alexander, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-Sekope Kepu.
Subs: 16-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17-James Slipper, 18-Rob Simmons, 19-Ben McCalman, 20-Scott Higginbotham, 21-Luke Burgess, 22-James O’Connor