James O'Connor (rugby union)
|Date of birth||5 July 1990|
|Place of birth||Southport, Queensland, Australia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||88 kg (13 st 12 lb)|
|Occupation(s)||International Rugby Player|
|Rugby union career|
|Position||Fullback, Wing, Centre, Fly-half|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|2008–2011 2012-||Western Force
|correct as of 31 March 2013.|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|Sevens national teams|
|Years||Club / team||Comps|
James O'Connor (born 5 July 1990) is an Australian international rugby union footballer. He made his Wallabies debut in 2008. His Super Rugby professional career began with Western Force in 2008, before a move to Melbourne Rebels in 2012.
O'Connor was born in Australia on the Gold Coast. He lived in Auckland for five years as a child until the age of eleven, when he returned to Australia with his family. He became a boarder at Nudgee College in Brisbane. In 2006 he suffered a ruptured spleen but went on to be part of the Australian Schools representative team that played against England, Samoa and New Zealand in 2007.
O'Connor's parents are from New Zealand, and his maternal grandparents from South Africa. This, along with his Australian birth, meant he was eligible for all three Tri Nations teams. However, his decision to play for the Wallabies, and debut in 2008, meant he became ineligible to play for the All Blacks or Springboks. He also played for the Australian Sevens in 2008.
O'Connor is a versatile 'utility back'. He said, "I feel more comfortable at 12 as a second ball player. I also like 15. You definitely get a lot of space. I just want to get on the field whether it is 10, 12 or 15." He made his Australian debut in 2008, when he came off the bench as replacement fullback (No.15) against Italy.
O'Connor became the youngest ever Super Rugby debutant at age 17 when he came off the bench for the Western Force against the Queensland Reds in Week 10 of the 2008 Super 14 competition. He completed the season's final three matches running on at inside centre.
In 2008, during his Australian debut, O'Connor scored three tries and helped Australia beat Italy 31–8. In October 2009 O'Connor "took home the Emirates Western Force 2009 ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and was also named the Wallabies ‘Rookie of the Year’ at the 2009 John Eales Medal dinner."
In 2012 O'Connor commenced a two year contract with the Melbourne Rebels. His team mates would include fullback Kurtley Beale, centre Mitch Inman (Force), and English international Danny Cipriani.
In 2012, prior to the Tests against South Africa, New Zealand, and Argentina, O'Connor became a new member of the Wallabies Test-team leadership group, along with another new member, Brumbies centre Pat McCabe. The groups' other three members are: Will Genia, James Horwill, and David Pocock. The group meets with Wallabies coaching and managerial staff to discuss team strategy, planning and off-field logistics.
- "James O'Connor Player Profile". Western Force. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Robinson, Georgina (15 September 2011). "O'Connor schools himself in old memories". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Kitson, Robert (12 October 2011). "Rugby World Cup 2011: Wallabies play on New Zealand's darkest fears". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "James O'Connor player profile". ARU. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- "Inside the Game". James O'Connor. iSports Star. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Badel, Peter (16 June 2009). "O'Connor lucky to be alive". Sunday Telegraph. News Corporation. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Growden, Greg (20 August 2009). "AFL past makes teen gun O'Connor a mark man". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- "Western Force Secure Rising Star O'Connor" (Press release). Western Force. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Under IRB regulations, a player becomes permanently committed to a nation upon his first presence in a matchday squad with the country's full national team, "A" national team, or sevens national team. "Regulation 8: Eligibility to Play for National Representative Teams". Regulations Relating to the Game. International Rugby Board. 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. See especially Regulations 8.1 through 8.4.
- James O'Connor gains weight, experience as force for change from Perth
- ARU (18 June 2011). "James O'Connor re-signs with Australian Rugby" (Press release). ARU. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- Paxinos, Stathi (19 June 2009). "Rebels can utilise talented trio: Macqueen". Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "Rebels excited by arrival of big guns". ABC News. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Growden, Greg (27 June 2012). "Deans delighted to let McCabe take centre stage". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 12 August 2012.