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Wallabies turn to O'Connor

JAMES O'CONNOR has been recalled by Australia for Saturday's clash with Ireland at Eden Park.

O'Connor features in the starting line-up for the first time since being suspended for indiscipline after missing a function for the Wallabies' World Cup squad announcement.

The 21-year-old comes onto the right wing as a replacement for the injured Digby Ioane, who sustained a fractured thumb in the 32-6 victory over Italy on Sunday.

Adam Ashley-Cooper switches to the left wing while Drew Mitchell returns to the bench after completing his recovery from an ankle injury.

"Drew has worked hard within the group, he has the background with us and is ready for this opportunity," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.

"While it is disappointing for Digby that he is going to be on the sidelines for a while, we are confident he will be available to play for us again before too long.

"His timelines will depend on how his rehabilitation goes, but the operation on Tuesday night went well."


Australia are unbeaten in their last three matches against Ireland, but Deans is expecting a tough encounter in the pivotal Pool C clash.

"You only have to go back to this year's Six Nations when Ireland knocked England off to deny them a Grand Slam," he said.

"They are a solid unit, filled with experienced performers. Their set piece is excellent, they have a big pack and they will be up for it, seeing this match as a great opportunity to make a statement.

"Crucially, they have also troubled us in the past and will believe they can do so again.

"We've never had it easy playing against them.

"Saturday night will be no difficult. It is going to take a big effort to get the job done."

AUSTRALIA: K Beale; J O'Connor, A Fainga'a, P McCabe, A Ashley-Cooper; Q Cooper, W Genia; S Kepu, S Moore, B Alexander, D Vickerman, J Horwill (capt), R Elsom, D Pocock, R Samo. Replacements: T Polota-Nau, J Slipper, R Simmons, B McCalman, S Higginbotham, L Burgess, D Mitchell.