Melbourne Rebels playmaker James O’Connor has said that he will take full advantage of his selection to don the number 10 Wallaby jersey ahead of the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.
“Nothing’s set in stone – it’s still six weeks until the first Lions game. But I’ve played No.10 all my life so I’m pretty comfortable there if I get given the opportunity,” said O’Connor.
The 22-year old knows that the opportunity is highly sought-after by many players in Australia, and that he will relish the chance to take the playmaking role.
“If I can put on that gold jersey again, it’s going to be massive.
“I missed last year through injury and there are a lot of good players playing this year who are in flying form.
“But if the opportunity comes, I’m going to take it with both hands.”
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans backed his decision to include O’Connor in the flyhalf role ahead of the Reds’ Quade Cooper, who missed out on the initial selection.
“We believe he caters for our need,” said Deans of O’Connor. “The last time he played for us, and obviously he wasn’t available at any stage last year, he played at No.10 against Wales at the end of 2011 and did a very good job.”
“In the outings he’s had he’s got the components we are looking for.
“He’s clearly a bloke who traumatises defences, he keeps the attack very square, which provides opportunities for the channels [runners] around him,” added Deans.
The Wallabies’ first test against the Lions will take place in Brisbane on 22 June 2013.
O’Connor was one of Rugby Informer’s options when discussing who should wear the Wallaby number 10 jersey?