O'Connor likely for wing role at Force - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Connor likely for wing role at Force

Justin Chadwick 02/11/2010 07:55:46 PM Comments (0)

Western Force head coach Richard Graham is leaning towards playing James O'Connor on the wing this Super Rugby season after the 20-year-old's blistering recent form for the Wallabies.

O'Connor was the hero in Australia's 26-24 win over the All Blacks last week, scoring the final try of the match and nailing the tough conversion from the sideline to lift his side to victory.

The utility was used on the wing, fullback and at five-eighth last season at the Force but Graham indicated he was leaning towards a more permanent role on the fringes for O'Connor.

"At this stage it's hard to argue with a guy that's scored six tries in the last four games. You'd have to say he's doing something right on the wing," Graham said.

"I think the game suits him at the moment.

"He's still a young man and the Wallabies are giving him plenty of space to use those skills."

The Force finished a lowly 13th last season but Graham, who has taken over the reins from John Mitchell, said expectations would be greater in 2011.

"I don't necessarily like the word consolidation," he said.

"We are competitive people and we aspire to achieve good things.

"Everyone starts the season wanting to win it, we are absolutely no different, but at this stage we haven't sat down and set ourselves targets."

The Force started pre-season training on Monday and Graham said there would be a greater focus on individual preparation.

"The staff to player ratio is greater and we certainly want to maximise the potential of the individual," he said.

"So weight groups are smaller, on-field sessions are individualised.

"We've taken that (our high injury toll last season) into account following our review and hope to make the most of it."

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