After initially missing out on a spot in Australia's Rugby Championship squad earlier this month, former Sale Sharks utility back James O'Connor has been flown out to South Africa.
The 29-year-old left the Premiership's Sale Sharks earlier than planned at the end of last season, endeavouring to rekindle his Test career and earn a spot in the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year. Wallaby head coach Michael Cheika has originally left O'Connor out of this first Rugby Championship squad, having made the decision to head back to Austalia last-minute.
However, explosive Melbourne Rebels winger Marika Koroibete was permitted to remain at home in Australia to attend the birth of his child, leaving a spot in Australia's touring party, currently in South Africa, for O'Connor. The 44-times-capped utility man's spot in the squad has been described as 'train only', meaning that barring a run of injuries, he is unlikely to enjoy a return to the international arena for the first time in six years jusworld rugby t yet.
Reports suggest that negotiations beween O'Connor and the Queensland Reds are expected to be finalised ahead of the start of the Rugby Championship on the 20th of July when the Wallabies, currently sixth in the World Rugby rankings, kick off against the Springboks, who currently sit ahead of the Wallabies in fifth place.