Horwill disappointed in O'Connor

Fri, 20 Sep 2013 15:53
Large james o connor   ewen mcken Large james horwill wallabies loo Large james horwill   ewen mckenz

Wallaby captain James Horwill says he is disappointed in controversial wing James O'Connor after his latest off-field misdemeanour.

Wallaby captain James Horwill says he is disappointed in controversial wing James O'Connor after his latest off-field misdemeanour at a "critical" time for Australian rugby.

O'Connor has been axed from the squad after being prevented from taking a flight because he was drunk.

O'Connor, who vowed just a month ago to change his ways in a bid to keep his Wallaby jersey, was trying to board a plane to Bali with his girlfriend hours after Australia beat Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Police said a 23-year-old man, widely identified in the media as O'Connor, had been removed from Perth airport.

A deflated Horwill told the Fox Sports Rugby HQ programme that he was disappointed the game was in the headlines again for the wrong reasons.

When asked about the O'Connor situation, Horwill said: "It's obviously disappointing in a Test week in the first 10 minutes of your show we've been speaking about an incident that's happened off the field and not things that are happening on it.

"We're embarking on a pretty critical moment of Australian rugby, you know, a two-week tour of South Africa and Argentina and it is a big, big moment for this team," he added.

"And I guess the fact that we're sitting down talking about an off-field incident, no matter who it is, is disappointing."

He said he expected more from someone representing their country.

"The team has got strong values that we want to uphold as being Wallabies and being representatives of your country," he said.

"We do have a code of conduct, I guess, a [set of] disciplinary guidelines and that goes right down from everything between what gear you're wearing to training to what you do off the field, away from training, what your expectations are of the players around the place."

O'Connor has a history of disciplinary issues, including being spotted at a burger bar at 4.00 am three days before the must-win second Test against the British and Irish Lions in June. He also missed the team bus for the third Test.

In 2011 he was suspended after sleeping through the World Cup team announcement.

Former great Nathan Sharpe, who was O'Connor's first captain at Western Force and played alongside him in the Wallabies, said players had been disappointed by his behaviour for "a long time".

"I don't know what went on in this incident, and whether there was alcohol involved or there wasn't, but there has just been too many [incidents]," Sharpe told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

Asked if teammates were upset with O'Connor, Sharpe said: "Yeah, they are. They all are. I don't know if it will be said publicly but I know having been alongside most of those guys, they were disappointed a long time ago."

The Wallabies, third in the four-nation southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, are due to fly out of Australia in the coming days for the tour of South Africa and Argentina.


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 13
New Zealand 3 2 0 1 9
Argentina 3 1 0 2 5
South Africa 3 0 0 3 2