James O’Connor and David Pocock have been called up to join the Wallabies squad in Johannesburg ahead of their Rugby Championship match against the Springboks next week.
O’Connor and Pocock were in Australia’s initial training group, but were both left out of the final 34-man squad for the Rugby Championship. Rugby Australia confirmed on Monday that the duo will fly out to Johannesburg, where they will link up with the playing squad again.
O’Connor’s recall came in the wake of Marika Koroibete’s absence, with the latter returning to Melbourne for the birth of his second child. The 29-year-old O’Connor will only join as a train-on member, but if his Vodacom Super Rugby contract with one of the Australian franchises is finalised before the Test next week, he will be eligible for selection.
Pocock is still nursing a calf injury, but was invited to South Africa to allow him to work on some specific rehab with the Wallabies’ medical team.
Commenting on the duo’s recall, coach Michael Cheika said: ‘This is a good opportunity for James to integrate into the team-playing principles. For David, we really want to do some specific rehab work with him and it’s just better to have him with us at this stage to ensure we get his return to play exactly right.’
Photo: Rugby AU Media/Stuart Walmsley