Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


O'Connor ready to tame Lions

20th June 2013 12:24


SKY_MOBILE James OConnor - Australia training

Pumped: James O'Connor

Australia fly-half James O'Connor has stated that watching the Lions warm up for the Test series has made the Wallabies hungry.

O'Connor will start in the pivotal fly-half jersey for the Wallabies, with Kurtley Beale amongst the replacements and Quade Cooper not selected.

The Melbourne Rebels star will be partnered by Will Genia at half-back and believes that the support around him will be more than enough to help him through a difficult first outing for Australia since December.

O'Connor highlighted the heavy Welsh influence on the Lions squad, along with the goal-kicking prowess of Leigh Halfpenny.

"That's where everyone attacks at the ten (fly-half), he's not normally the biggest bloke on the field. I've been used to that all of my life," said O'Connor.

"I am very much up for this opportunity and the occasion. I can't express how pumped I am. I just want to get out there.

"We've been watching them for the past couple of weeks and it's just making everyone hungry. It's a huge occasion.

"I've got some good support around me who can control the game very well. We've done well on the training pitch and we're going to take it into the game and play some good footy.

"I'm very confident in how it's all going.

"I was injured last year, but previously my last game for the Wallabies was at ten and was against Wales and a big thing among the Lions is that they do have a big Welsh component there so we are quite aware of the background there.

"Halfpenny has been pretty magical with the boot, so we want to limit his opportunities and make sure we take ours."