Former wunderkind James O’Connor is available for Wallabies selection to face South Africa after signing a Super Rugby deal with Queensland.
James O’Connor’s Wallabies’ career may get a reboot as soon as this weekend with the star utility now available to play South Africa after signing a Super Rugby deal with Queensland.
O’Connor joined the Wallabies in Johannesburg to train this week but was not eligible for selection for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash without the deal.
The 29-year-old is believed to have signed a two-year deal with the Reds so is now available to add to his 44-Test career.
O’Connor became the youngest ever Super Rugby debutant at age 17 and the second youngest Wallaby in Australian rugby history at age 18, but his promising career went off track through a number of off-field incidents.
His last Test was in 2013 and he last played in Australia in 2015, when he spent a season with the Reds, before being released to shift his career to the UK.
With midfield ace Samu Kerevi signing to play in Japan after this year’s World Cup, O’Connor is the perfect replacement in the young Queensland line-up.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is unlikely to select him to face the Springboks ahead of a number of proven performers within the squad.
However, he is now in the mix for this year’s World Cup in Japan, after taking part in the 2011 edition.