James O’Connor says he’d play fullback if he wanted to, praises Marcus Smith




James O’Connor says he’s in great shape and would be ready to step in at No. 15 if he misses out as the Wallabies flyhalf at Quade Cooper in next month’s series against England. England.

The Queensland Reds fly-half missed the final weeks of Super Rugby Pacific with a hamstring injury but says he would have been fit had the team gone beyond defeat in the quarterfinals against the Crusaders.

JOC was one of three No. 10s named in Dave Rennie’s 35-man squad along with Cooper and Noah Lolesio. Cooper is considered the favorite to wear the jersey at the first Test in Perth on July 2, but O’Connor’s versatility will likely earn him a place on the bench.

The back has been a problem area for the Wallabies. Tom Banks is considered the starter, although the injured Kurtley Beale wore the No. 15 during the Spring Tour, at a time when the JOC wore the No. 10 jersey and were, in his opinion, not at their best. .

On Thursday, O’Connor told reporters he had spoken to Rennie about a move to No. 15 last year but it had not come up this year.

“This year, I’ve done everything to play 10, improve my game there, work on the little things that we both discussed that I could benefit from,” O’Connor said.

“It’s just been around 10 hours but to be fair we haven’t had too much communication. When you’re in Super Season your eyes are on the prize, now here we are, we’ll see what happens.

“If Dave wanted me to play 15 I would put my hand to play 15 for sure. “

O’Connor said the battle for the No. 10 jersey was “high level competition.

“We each play in our own way and we have our strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “To be fair, it’s going to be a good battle and we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks, see where the cards are.”

O’Connor stepped up in Europe after Cooper missed season-ending games due to Japanese club commitments.

“To be honest, it wasn’t my best tour ever,” O’Connor said.

“I just found it a bit difficult to get into the game. Whether it was how we played as a group, I was probably a step too deep.

“I was probably preparing for conditions that didn’t actually happen. It was actually quite fast there, we thought it would be wetter in football weather.

(Photo by Getty Images)

He said that despite his injuries, he felt better now.

“Before the Test matches it’s a step forward, you want to be prepared, at your best physical level, so you can make your mark on a match. I really feel like I’m in that place now.

“My weight makes me feel good and I’ve hit all the benchmarks I’ve discussed with the coaches and it’s time to show it on the pitch.

“The goal for me is consistency every week – it’s not like having a huge performance then diving, you want to be like a well-oiled machine when you hit the pitch so everyone knows you’re going to perform in group every time.”

Wallabies squad member Harry Wilson discusses his selection with Brett McKay and Harry Jones on the Roar Rugby podcast.

Beginning or end, O’Connor is likely to close in on the much-hyped England youngster No.10 Marcus Smith.

“He’s quick, he’s got good footwork and he’s very elusive,” O’Connor said.

“If they can master their fundamentals and move forward, he can be very dangerous on the sidelines.

” If the [Owen] Farrell apart from him is a stable header and a great ball player who controls the game very well, and [gives them] good balance on the pitch.

O’Connor chatted with Smith after England won in November.

“There’s always pressure, it’s just how you deal,” he said. “I spoke to Marcus after the game last year and he seemed in a really good frame of mind and good headspace.

“I think he’s doing very well. My personal experience – I had some ups and downs at that age, especially when I was appointed to this role at 10 years old, leading the team on the ground and knowing that you are orchestrating the attack. I wish him good luck and hope that I can do some work on him.

Smith could be boosted by being away from home and in a touring environment, although as we’ve seen with English tourists from the Ashes, best plans and cohesion can crumble in an instant if touring begins to take the shape of a pear.

“It’s up to the person. Sometimes when you go on tour you’re away from home, so it can be a little more difficult,” O’Connor said.

“Other times it brings the group together and there’s a little less pressure that you’re not home, you’re out of the bubble I guess.”

England were poor in the recent Six Nations, with manager Eddie Jones under pressure again.

But O’Connor doesn’t see that counting for much.

“It will be a brand new team. They have a great balance in their squad and I’m sure they will come out firing,” he said.

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