14 Jul 2009

Wallaby teenager looks like a young Tim Horan

3:44 pm on 14 July 2009

The Wallaby squad includes James O'Connor, a talented young back the All Black assistant coach Wayne Smith notes ruefully was lost to New Zealand rugby when his parents moved to Queensland.

O'Connor went to school in west Auckland until he was 11 and grew up idolising the All Black fullback Christian Cullen.

Although he scored three tries on debut after starting at fullback against Italy just before he turned 19 O'Connor usually plays second-five and sometimes first-five.

That's why Smith says he is reminded of a young Tim Horan, who quickly became a Wallaby midfield fixture through the 1990s after starting against the All Blacks in 1989 when he was 19.

Smith says a comparison with Horan is quite an endorsement but he says O'Connor's already shown he has a great future.