BEN YOUNGS: I’m still pinching myself
November 12, 2010 No. 323 £1.95
SARACENS GO ARTIFICIAL Bath optimistic about new year Rec resolution
Hill salutes fitness king Sanderson
by JON NEWCOMBE
NGLAND World Cup winner Andy Gomarsall has predicted that Australia sensation James O'Connor will be a bigger superstar in rugby than Jonny Wilkinson. O'Connor produced a fairytale finish to the Bledisloe Cup game in Hong Kong a fortnight ago when he scored a try in the corner and then landed a touchline conversion to win the match with the last kick of the game. The right wing failed to cross the
line in Cardiff but looked dangerous every time he touched the ball. He laid on second half tries for Kurtley Beale and Ben Alexander, as well as kicking two penalties and two conversions to earn special praise from head coach Robbie Deans.
"He's a talented kid and he's now looking a lot more settled in international rugby," Dean said. At 18 years and 80 days, O'Connor became the second youngest player ever to play for Australia when he took to the field against Italy in the autumn of 2008. Wilkinson (inset) made his debut for England, aged 18 years and 314 days, and has gone on to play 80 Tests for his country in an international career spanning over a decade.
The England legend has clocked
up over 1,000 Test match points along the way, and famously kicked England to World Cup success in 2003. But Gomarsall, capped 35 times
himself, reckons O'Connor could be an even bigger sensation in international rugby and join the pantheon of legends in the sport.
"O’Connor is exceptional. If
Australia are going to win the World Cup it is going to be through him," said Rugby Times columnist Gomarsall. "I’ll make a bold statement and say he is going to have a more successful career than Jonny Wilkinson. I think he is unreal." O'Connor has become Australia's designated kicker after inside centre Matt Giteau decided to relinquish the role.
With just 82 points from 25 international appearances, he clearly has a long way to go before he comes anywhere close to matching Wilkinson's exploits with the boot.
"It does take time, particularly for a kid of his age ... but he's looking more
Waldouck’s England frustration
Tincknell hopes to hit Sale for six Pirates enter choppy waters
O’Connor can be in a world of his own
composed and offering more as a result," Deans added.
"Obviously he has taken on the
responsibility at a young age of goal kicking and that'll tend to mature him pretty rapidly as well because it is a great earthling mechanism." O'Connor, 20, is not the only threat
to England on Saturday. In fly-half Quade Cooper and full-back Kurtley Beale, Australia have two fleet-footed backs that can cause mayhem. "If you thought New Zealand attacked well, you ain’t seen nothing yet…Australia are different class," warned Gomarsall.
"They have got players that will cut you to ribbons in O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper. These guys have electric pace but are also so creative, and if they get ball it is going to be a very tough defensively for England. These guys have come onto the scene and are in a different world."
ISSN 1478 4513 4 5 9 771478 451021
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32