Rugby World Cup 2011
O'Connor sorry for no-show
James O'Connor (File)
Sydney - Wallabies star James O'Connor on Sunday apologised for missing last week's World Cup squad announcement and said he was willing to take his punishment.
O'Connor faced the media for the first time since missing the squad announcement in Sydney last Thursday ahead of next weekend's Tri-Nations decider against New Zealand in Brisbane.
The 21-year-old utility back has been asked by the Australian Rugby Union to explain his disappearance and could face a ban and miss Australia's final leadup game to next month's World Cup in New Zealand.
O'Connor said he was sorry for letting down his team and Australian rugby.
"I just want to express my regret as this is such an important event for the Wallabies and I would like to apologise to all the fans and my team-mates," he told reporters.
"I let myself down, I let the fans down and I guess all the Wallabies down and the ARU as well.
"It's a massive event (World Cup squad naming) and one that only comes around every four years."
The ARU is investigating the incident and is expected to hand down its decision on Monday.
O'Connor was reportedly spotted at one or two hotels the night before the squad announcement, but he would not reveal the reason behind his no-show.
"The process is out of my hands. It's with the ARU and whatever the outcome is, I'm willing to cop it," he said. "All I know is I will do all I can for the team.
"We've got a massive game coming up this Saturday and a chance to win the Tri-Nations before the World Cup, so all my efforts (will go) into training hard and doing what I can for the team.
"I want to be there for my team-mates, as they would be there for me."