The signing of Aussie international James O’Connor by London Irish raised a few eyebrows.
I imagine there would have been plenty more teams interested in his services.
From our point of view as players within the camp, we are delighted to have him.
He is a really nice guy and has settled in very quickly. He has also showed just how good he is in a very short time.
His performance against Northampton on his debut laid down a real marker and his attitude to fit into the set-up has been first class.
He is not loud and brash - as he is sometimes portrayed in the media – but he is a confident young man and he backs that up with his skill set.
He also has a smart rugby brain and had learned all of our plays within a few days of being here. That’s some effort and he showed a real desire to make his move here a big success.
He is a phenomenal rugby player and the whole squad are excited to see what he can produce.
From a captain’s perspective, it’s good not only to have someone like James come in to play for us but for the club to show real ambition in signing a player of that quality, that was in such high demand from elsewhere.
I don’t think it will be our last high-quality addition either. There is plenty of talk that the club is set to make some big signings over the next 18 months or so.
That’s good to hear and a real positive to come out of the boardroom.
For now, James has added even more gas to our back line which, as many people have noticed this season, we are not short of!
James O'Connor (right) has fitted in well into the London Irish backline.
When James fits into our back three along with Marland Yarde and Topsy Ojo – who celebrated his 200th game for Irish last weekend – I believe we have one of the fastest back threes not only in the country and Europe… but in world rugby.
That may sound like a big claim but I would be interested if anyone could name me two wingers and full-back with as much raw pace as those guys.
George Skivington (#4) says James O'Connor isn't like the media portray and has fitted in well to the Irish squad.
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Photo credits Graham Wilson