Wallabies coach Dave Rennie praises in-form Queensland Reds playmaker James O’Connor

O’Connor continued to impress within the Reds’ heartbreaking round-five loss to the Brumbies in Canberra, pulling the playmaker’s strings adeptly to place his ball-runners into area, and utilizing his kicking sport to assist the guests nearly pull off the upset.

“He is performed much less rugby at No.10 however he is achieved an excellent job for them as a result of he provides confidence to folks round him and he is acquired a wonderful talent set. I believe he is achieved an excellent job,” Rennie mentioned, not lacking the importance for a Wallabies group that can characteristic many gifted however inexperienced younger gamers.

Matt Toomua’s related – their potential to play on high of defences … is an actual power of theirs and actually essential for us.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie

“That’s essential for us. We all know he can play No.10, we all know he can play midfield. Extra seasoned gamers being on high of their sport is absolutely essential for us.”

Rennie confirmed he was contemplating the 52-Check utility for the vacant Australia No.10 jersey, such was O’Connor’s dedication to his craft this season.

“He can play each,” he mentioned. “I’d have thought earlier within the yr [he was] in all probability not a No.10 and extra a No.12. He can play No.13 too. He’d desire to not, he thinks in all probability he does not have the leg velocity to play No.13.”

However he additionally hinted at a possible pairing with considered one of Australia’s youthful playmakers, equivalent to Noah Lolesio or Will Harrison, or the Brumbies’ Bayley Kuenzle. And he name-dropped Rebels five-eighth Matt Toomua as one other ‘seasoned’ performer.

Toomua on the run against the Force on Friday night.

Toomua on the run towards the Drive on Friday night time.Credit score:Getty Pictures

“If you happen to think about him as a No.12, the standard of communication, he is acquired a kicking sport, he is a very good distributor, the flexibility to play within the face of defences,” Rennie mentioned.

“Whether or not it’s 10 or 12 – Matt Toomua’s related – their potential to play on high of defences and make choices late is an actual power of theirs and actually essential for us.”

Rennie will open his Wallabies tenure with back-to-back Exams towards the All Blacks in Sydney and Brisbane earlier than taking the squad to his homeland for an prolonged interval to play within the Rugby Championship, which options one other two Exams towards New Zealand.


Fan response has been nearly universally characterised by dread, with some peeking-from-behind-the-fingers hope. Whereas the All Blacks can be present process their very own transition beneath Ian Foster, few Australians can think about this being the yr the Wallabies break an 18-year Bledisloe drought.

Rennie doesn’t shrink back from the mountain his gamers might want to climb however says the hub-style Rugby Championship additionally presents the Wallabies with a singular bonding alternative.

“It’s going to be a baptism of fireplace if we find yourself enjoying 4 Exams towards the All Blacks,” he mentioned.

“If the Rugby Championship goes forward and we find yourself spending a whole lot of time in New Zealand as a gaggle, that can be gold for us. Whereas it is a actually robust problem, it is a possibility to be in one another’s pockets for an extended time period, to create a very sturdy tradition, to get a whole lot of work achieved and a whole lot of element across the technical aspect of the sport or the conditioning aspect. So hopefully guys have a much better understanding and can come again and play much better Tremendous Rugby.

“We’re properly conscious of the problem however we’re not in search of excuses and we have to attempt to create a mindset the place the expectation is that, if we struggle for one another for 80 minutes, we win.

“What the All Blacks pass over can be attention-grabbing – there will be some unbelievable gamers that will not play for them this yr, so we have simply acquired to search out 30 or 40 guys who we predict can do the job whatever the state of affairs.”

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