Australia Rugby
O'Connor out of USA clash
ESPNscrum Staff
September 20, 2011
Australia's James O'Connor is one of the star attractions during training at Rugby League Park, Wellington, New Zealand, September 19, 2011
O'Connor is set to return for the match against Russia © Getty Images

Australia winger James O'Connor will miss the Wallabies' clash with the United States in Wellington on Friday.

The winger, who is also the Wallabies' first-choice kicker, had a scan on Tuesday, which revealed a minor hamstring strain. He is expected to return for Australia's final pool game against Russia on October 1.

In O'Connor's absence winger Drew Mitchell could make his first start for the Wallabies since scoring a hat-trick against France in Paris last November. The Wallabies are already without winger Digby Ioane who injured his thumb in their opening game against Italy.

However openside flanker David Pocock has an outside chance of playing against the US Eagles after missing the 15-6 defeat to Ireland on the weekend. Assistant coach David Nucifora says Pocock has made significant strides in recovering from a back strain in recent days.

"If you'd seen him on match-day morning and you see him now, there's a massive improvement," he told AFP. "At this point we're hopeful but, obviously, if there's any doubt we won't risk any of our players making something that's relatively minor into something major."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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