O'Connor ponders - Force or Brumbies? - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Connor ponders - Force or Brumbies?

By Darren Walton 11/06/2009 07:44:41 PM Comments (0)

Matt Giteau will be chuffed if boy wonder James O'Connor follows him to the Brumbies for the 2010 Super 14 season - but says he has no idea if the new Wallabies fullback will or not.

Australian rugby's hottest prospect is still weighing up whether or not to remain at the Western Force or join the Brumbies' burgeoning dream team, which will also welcome star flanker Rocky Elsom and Wallabies reserve halfback Josh Valentine.

Giteau and O'Connor, who played mostly at inside centre at the Force, have struck up quite an attacking rapport this season and will start a Test together for the first time on Saturday when Australia takes on Italy at Canberra Stadium.

Giteau, though, insists he won't be encouraging O'Connor to continue their association at provincial level.

"He'll get his opinions and ideas and thoughts from his manager and obviously his family. I think he's pretty close to his dad, so I'm not too sure at what he's looking to do," Giteau said on Thursday.

"It's not really any of my business either so, whatever he does, you support him as a teammate.

"But if we do play against each other, I'll look forward to that also."

Giteau is happy enough to assist the boom youngster with on-field matters - if he ever needs advice, that is.

"There's certainly times where if you're trying to do things, especially when he's playing inside centre and I want a certain line out of him or more talk," Giteau said.

"So there'll be certain things there when you can help him out or explain things to him.

"But he's quite smart, I think, with his rugby knowledge and his general instincts are pretty much spot on all the time so you don't want to bombard him with too much information.

"But if he does want that help or need that help, he does generally come and ask for it."

The classy 18-year-old has been likened to a youthful Giteau, who, like most rugby fans, is looking forward to O'Connor's much-hyped Test debut on Saturday night.

"He's very confident. I hope I wasn't that confident, but he's certainly got all the skills," Giteau said.

"There's huge expectations on him. Obviously because he's had a pretty strong Super 14 season.

"But as long as he just plays as he has through the Super 14 and doesn't overplay his hand. I think that's the biggest thing.

"Obviously expectations are high because he is quite a good attacking player.

"But with the game plan we've got and the way we'll be looking to use him, it will be pretty hard for him to overplay his hand.

"He doesn't generally show too many nerves so I'm sure he'll be fine on the weekend.

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