James O'Connor in hospital
Melbourne - Melbourne star James O'Connor is still recovering in a Sydney
hospital, but the Rebels are unsure how serious his rib injury is after
he was accidentally kneed by Waratahs flyhalf Berrick Barnes on Saturday.
O'Connor was in extreme pain on the field following the
aerial collision and, after bravely attempting to play on, was taken
from the field with more than a quarter of their 30-21 Super Rugby loss
Coach Damien Hill said O'Connor was having breathing
difficulties on the day and the Wallabies utility was kept in hospital
on Sunday for further tests.
Next week's bye will mean the Rebels don't need to rush O'Connor back
and Hill will also have a significant selection dilemma to ponder over
before the club's round-11 meeting with the Bulls in Melbourne.
Hill admitted he didn't know what Kurtley Beale's best
position was and said he would consider shifting the former Waratah to
Flyhalf Danny Cipriani made a couple of key errors in
Saturday's loss and, although Hill wasn't unhappy with the
Englishman's performance, he said he would give serious thought to Beale
at No 10 as he looks to turnaround their bottom-placed position in the
"It's a really good question - I think he made a really
good impact at 10," said Hill, who moved his key attacking weapon into
the front line for the final quarter of the Waratahs match.
"I think he's a dynamite 15. I think what it comes down to is the competition for spots there.
"Julian Huxley's performing well at 15 (off the bench)
and Danny had a reasonable game (last night) at 10, so it's a good
problem to have obviously. I think Kurtley likes both."
Waratahs counterpart Michael Foley might face a similar
decision this week, with No 15 Bernard Foley's shoulder injury possibly
opening an opportunity for him to try Berrick Barnes at the back.
The Waratahs don't have an accurate prognosis on Bernard
Foley, but coach Michael said Barnes and Adam Ashley-Cooper would be
considered for the switch if required.
Giving his thoughts on Beale's best position, the
Waratahs coach said his former pupil could dominate in both positions,
even at Test level.
"Fullback gives him the opportunity to come into the game
where the defence wouldn't expect it, but he played 10 a number of
times for us last year and was exceptional there so I'd be pretty
confident he could do it at the highest level there either way," Foley