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Wallabies fans arguing over O'Connor

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Wallabies fans cannot agree on James O'Connor's best position

After James O’Connor signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Reds, fans have been discussing what his best position will be for Australia. 

The 29-year-old has been training with the Wallabies in South Africa over the past week and will now be in contention to make the World Cup later this year, despite being excluded from their initial Rugby Championship squad. 

O’Connor has always been seen as a utility back, which is sometimes a good thing, but it does mean that a player is sometimes shoehorned into whichever position is needed rather than their best role. 

The former Toulon and Sale Sharks player has said that he thinks No12 is his best position, but some fans on social media don’t think that will be a role for him to play. He would be competing with the likes of Kurtley Beale, Samu Kerevi and Matt Toomua to play at inside centre, which is a tall order.

While he can also play fly-half, as he has done for Australia in the past, he is not completely comfortable there and may not be seen as an international 10. Like so many positions across the field, O’Connor is capable of playing there but is not necessarily a Test level talent.

There have also been calls from fans for the 44-cap Wallaby to play at full-back or on the wing. In the absence of Israel Folau for Australia, it will be interesting to see who Michael Cheika opts for as that is now a gaping hole in their backline. 

However, O’Connor is perhaps not the player he once was in his early days in Australia and may not be as fleet of foot. Should O’Connor make the Wallabies squad at some point in the future, this will undoubtedly be a keenly discussed topic, as it has proven to be already. This is what has been said:

Once the golden boy of Australian rugby, O’Connor has been playing his rugby in Europe over the past six years, despite a brief stint with the Reds in 2015. Unfortunately, a number of off-field misdemeanours curtailed the career of one of Australia’s brightest stars. 

However, it looks as though he has changed significantly from his early days, and ready to fight for a gold jersey again. What position he plays is still no clearer. 

WATCH: James O’Connor on the Wallabies, the Queensland Reds and dealing with mental issues

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Wallabies fans cannot agree on James O'Connor's best position