james o'connor western forceAustralian Rugby Union has today suspended James O’Connor until Sunday 28 August after the Wallabies winger failed to appear at two official team functions on Thursday 18 August.

O’Connor did not attend the Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad photo at the team hotel on Thursday morning and was also absent from the official announcement of the 30-man squad at Sydney airport later the same morning.

The suspension means O’Connor will miss this weekend’s Tri Nations decider against the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium, with the Wallabies to claim their first Tri Nations title success since 2001 should they defeat their trans-Tasman rivals. He will also be unavailable for selection in the Barbarians side to take on Canada at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast this Friday night.

As well as his ban from Rugby until Sunday 28 August, O’Connor has been handed a $10,000 suspended fine for his failure to attend both of Thursday’s proceedings. The suspended fine will remain in place until 31 December 2012.

The 21-year-old was asked to provide ARU with an explanation as to his non-attendance last Thursday. A response was received earlier today and considered, after which a decision was taken to suspend and fine O’Connor for his indiscretion.