O'Connor a man in demand - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Connor a man in demand

By Melissa Woods 15/06/2011 06:24:06 PM Comments (0)

The problem with James O'Connor is that there's only one of him.

The loss of O'Connor will leave a gaping hole at the Western Force Super Rugby outfit, and for reasons more than just his prodigious playing talent.

Following the departure of former golden boy Matt Giteau back to the Brumbies for the 2010 season, the 20-year-old Wallabies sensation became the face of the game in the west.

Despite their struggle for success on the field the Force flourished in Perth with a new stadium drawing big crowds.

But many come to see O'Connor.

With looks strikingly similar to world pop sensation Justin Bieber, young footballers want to be him and women want to be with him.

Flanker David Pocock is equally as talented and valuable.

But he doesn't have the drawing power of O'Connor.

You only have to look at the popularity of Melbourne's Danny Cipriani.

His defensive skills are at best questionable and yet the Rebels fans love him because when he's on the field, anything can happen.

He's exciting - and O'Connor has the same flair - and he can tackle.

The same goes for his close friend and Wallabies teammate Kurtley Beale, who will also join the Rebels from NSW in 2012.

The arrival of that dynamic duo also gives the Rebels the playing talent to off-load Cipriani, should he slip up with his off-field antics again.

While wooden-spooners Melbourne need the leg-up in an AFL-crazy state, the loss of O'Connor is a massive blow for the west, who are still to taste Super Rugby finals football since joining the competition in 2006.

With rugby talent already spread thin across the country due to the arrival of the fifth Super side, it's not like there's another O'Connor who is waiting for a start.

Coaches love to trumpet that the loss of a player means a opportunity for another player but that other player will be no James O'Connor.

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