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Friday, June 18, 2010

Young James O'Connor living up to his billing

Young James O'Connor living up to his billing

Exactly two years ago I featured a profile video of James OConnor as a youngster who had a bright future ahead of him, but had to make a big choice regarding who he wanted to play for. A couple of years on, and hes now a fully fledged Wallaby who has recently taken up the starting fullback spot in the series against England.

OConnor, incredibly still just 19 years of age, has followed through on the potential he showed with the Force as a 17 year old, and is now keeping guys like Adam Ashley Cooper and Kurtley Beale on the bench. He also became a first choice goal kicked last week, kicking ten points against England in Perth.

Matt Giteau is back this week though, so hell relieve OConnor of the kicking duties which no doubt means less pressure on the electric runner who scored a hatrick when playing for the Australian Barbarians recently.

He was the second youngest player to ever appear for the Wallabies when he made his debut against Italy in 2008, and followed that up with three tries in his first run on start for his country, an Australian first, and the youngest ever scorer of a Test hat-trick.

As mentioned in this new interactive hot-spotting video, if all goes well, we could quite possibly see many more years of OConnor in action as he and the new breed of Wallaby backs terrorise the opposition for many seasons to come.

The video allows you to find out more stats on OConnor while watching. Just mouseover it and youll be prompted when to click to learn more about him. If you dont want to read while watching, just keep your mouse of it.

Its an interesting concept, and Im keen to hear what you think of it. Also, make sure you check out the related links to watch the profile on OConnor from two years ago, and see his first ever Super 14 try, scored for the Force.

Posted by Rugbydump at 1:37 pm | View Comments (14)

Viewing 14 comments

Benson June 18, 2010 11:49 am

Scarily good at such a young age. He should still be playing at the junior world championships. Very good player. Not only his running game, but kicking out of hand and for goal too. I'd have him at 15 over Beale any day

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Anonymous June 18, 2010 12:21 pm

He have the blood of a Kiwi , Aussie and SA . No wonder he played so well .

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Cleckheaton kiwi June 18, 2010 12:57 pm

Sounds like a nice guy as well as being a good player.

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bytheby June 18, 2010 1:25 pm

He is an amazing find and will be around for many years to come.
The vid won't work on my iPhone but can't wait to see it when I get home.

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RD June 18, 2010 1:29 pm

If a comment gets removed, it's for a reason. Please read the commenting guidelines.

Lets keep things positive.

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Anonymous June 18, 2010 1:54 pm

australia seem to be the best at getting a steady stream of young lads playing on the national team, i know the ABs are good too but not to the aussie extent, they had like 3 20 year olds on against england the other day.

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Cheis June 18, 2010 2:01 pm

@ anom above

Yeah, but Oz still have problems finding good young FrontRowers..
that's their achilles heel

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Wolfman June 18, 2010 2:29 pm

Cheis - yeah, agreed about them having limited back up in the front row, but they have plenty of young talent coming through.

They have a generation coming through now who in 3 or 4 years will be very good. Their frontrow against England had 1 starting cap between them, and also had basically played one season of Super 14 rugby. Given them a couple of years, and they will be good and be great back up to Alexander and Robinson.

Their under 20s also had a very good front row this year - a couple of 125kg props who can pick up technique. Australia knows how to get the best out athletes.

O'Connor is the best young talent I have seen. Its not only his skills which are amazing, but his level headedness and calmness under pressure (puts him above Frans Steyn in my opinion). He has the ability to do the right thing at the wrong time. Is also very strong for a midget.

Glad he cut his hair though as he was starting to look like Ellen Degeneres during the Super 14!

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Abercrombie June 18, 2010 2:59 pm

Amazing player. He's 19 and still has like 18 more years to play pro rugby! That's a bit scary... plenty World Cups

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Abercrombie June 18, 2010 2:59 pm

Amazing player. He's 19 and still has like 18 more years to play pro rugby! That's a bit scary... plenty World Cups

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aussiergby_fan June 18, 2010 3:17 pm

I read the English press called the Australian scrum an abomination on international rugby. Lets pretend Australia had Ben Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Ben Alexander (who are all still in their 20's), the game would have been won by 30 points to Australia. The front row was dominated no doubt about it, but seriously England should be way more concerned with the lack of general ability they showed. If i was Robbie Deans and could field a front row with a handful of test caps between them and still dominate 95% of a game i would be pretty happy. God help anyone who comes across the wallabies with a fully fit front row and a star studded back line.

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BigBucks June 18, 2010 3:20 pm

Australian theif's!! Come back to Ireland

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peak June 18, 2010 11:25 pm

Oz is pretty interesting because they don't have a national competition. The bad side to that is that youngsters are often thrown in the deep end of super14/15 and Test rugby. (Like their front rowers at the moment) The good side is that obviously it's a great way to expose and unearth new talent.

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Scotsdale June 19, 2010 9:39 am

Loads of potential this guy. Exciting runner and seems to be getting better with each game he plays.

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