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Hamstring injury puts paid to O'Connor hopes

All grown up … Kane Douglas.

All grown up … Kane Douglas. Photo: Getty Images

JAMES O'CONNOR'S plan to be part of the Wallabies squad heading to South Africa and Argentina later this month, where he hoped to regain his Test five-eighth spot, are over due to ongoing hamstring problems.

O'Connor joined the Wallabies on the Gold Coast in a bid to make the two-week tour, but medical staff decided yesterday it was premature for him to return and unwise for him to travel overseas. He will continue his rehabilitation in Melbourne.

Also, the Wallabies will not risk hooker Stephen Moore against Argentina, and have Saia Faingaa as Tatafu Polota-Nau's backup.

Meanwhile, a reminder of how long Nathan Sharpe has been part of the Wallabies furniture came yesterday when his latest second-row Test partner admitted he first saw him playing while in primary school.

Waratahs second-rower Kane Douglas was an unexpected inclusion in the team to play Argentina when he was preferred to the more experienced Rob Simmons.

It will be the first time the 23-year-old Douglas, who won the position because, as Wallabies coach Robbie Deans puts it, ''he is our best tighthead lock'', will partner Sharpe, who takes over the captaincy .

''I've been watching him [Sharpe] play since I was a little kid,'' Douglas said yesterday, shortly after being told he was to play his first Test. ''So I'm very excited to now be able to play alongside him for the first time.

''I know I was pretty young when I first watched him, and he had hair in those days. Every time I remembered watching the Wallabies as a kid, he was there.''

Douglas's elevation will herald an exodus of friends, relatives and former teammates from his northern NSW home town of Yamba to attend the game. Joining them will be elder brother Luke, who plays in the NRL for the Gold Coast Titans.

''This will feel like a bit of a home game, because quite a few of my mates are coming up for the game, as my home town is only a couple of hours away,'' he said. ''I've got heaps of mates who have also moved up here since finishing school … It's certainly closer to Yamba than Sydney.''

Douglas followed his elder brother in originally playing rugby league and started playing union only when the Yamba Buccaneers first fielded a team in the under-15s.

''I found my body was more suited to rugby, because there are not too many tall league players running around,'' he said. ''But the family remain league orientated. Even when I started playing rugby in Sydney, Dad would say to me: 'What are you doing next year? Do you want to come and play league?'''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs FRA 0 06:00MilS
IRE 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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