Planet Rugby

Horwill backs O'Connor axing

21st September 2013 09:37

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JAMES Horwill AUSTRALIA

Fighting fit: James Horwill

Wallabies captain James Horwill has backed the decision to drop wayward James O'Connor from the Rugby Championship squad ahead of next weekend's clash with the Springboks.

In the lastest of a series of disciplinary problems, 23-year-old O'Connor was stood down on Friday as the Australian Rugby Union investigate an incident at Perth Airport last week when he was reportedly stopped from boarding a flight because he was drunk, despite assuring coach Ewen McKenzie last month he was determined to change his ways.

"I fully support Ewen's decision and I guess it's for the best of the team," said Horwill.

"That's what we're about, the team comes first in these situations.

"He's got to make that realisation and understand what's important to him and what he wants to do with his rugby going forward.

"Hopefully it is a moment where he understands that he might need to change something to get the best out of himself."

Horwill confirmed he fully expects to be fit for next Saturday's Test at Newlands after struggling with a hamstring injury. He is also determined to see major improvements on their narrow 14-13 win over the Pumas.

"We obviously didn't play our best rugby and we're happy to admit that," he added.

"But we need to build from that and we can't go backwards from where we are."

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