Planet Rugby

Speed of game surprises O'Connor

04th November 2013 06:42

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James O Connor 2013

Went well: James O'Connor

London Irish new boy James O'Connor was surprised at the pace of the game after falling to defeat to Northampton on his Premiership debut Sunday.

The Exiles went down 19-14 to the Saints in a decent performance at the Madejski Stadium, with O'Connor taken aback by the pace of the game.

"The speed of the game was very surprising," said the Australian star, who has scored 223 points in 44 appearances for his country.

"I thought Super Rugby was fast, but I was really blowing out there, that's for sure.

"It felt great. The club and all the boys have been awesome since I arrived and I am really looking forward to my time here.

"I didn't feel 100 percent and can get better. I wanted to perform. It was one of the best pitches I have played on. It was just a shame we could not get the win."

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith said O'Connor's performance was "outstanding".

"He's 23 and is still just a kid who gets up in the morning and puts his trousers on one leg at a time like everyone else," Smith added.

"A lot has happened quickly to him, but he's settled in straight away and showed his class today. The boys enjoyed playing with him today.

"We see him as a 15, even though many see him as a jack of all trades who has played right along the back line. And he wants to establish himself as a full-back."

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