O’Connor poised for pivot

James O’Connor looks increasingly likely to start at flyhalf in Australia’s Test against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

Quade Cooper’s serious knee injury, sustained at the World Cup, has left a void in the position and it is one coach Robbie Deans appears to have asked O’Connor to fill. He trained there in the team’s hour-long session, their first since arriving in London, on Tuesday, but Deans also has the option of running Berrick Barnes in the position.

O’Connor received the endorsement of scrumhalf Will Genia. ‘He can ball play, he has shown that in Super Rugby [for the Western Force],’’ Australian halfback Will Genia said. ‘‘He really wants the opportunity and hopefully Robbie gives it to him. We will how see how he goes,’ Genia said.

Meanwhile, loose forwards Matt Hodgson and Scott Higginbotham missed the session with illness but were both expected to be available for selection this weekend.