James O'Connor unwilling to give up the Australia No 10 jersey

Last Updated: 25/06/13 2:35pm

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James O'Connor is hoping for "another crack" at playing in the No 10 jersey despite a disappointing performance against the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane.

O'Connor was criticised for his display in the 23-21 first Test defeat, with the 22-year-old missing with two penalty attempts and failing to gel with the back division.

O'Connor wasn't helped by the number of injuries suffered by the Wallabies, however he could still find himself taken out of the firing line and moved to the wing or full-back.

Rebels team-mate Kurtley Beale is also pushing hard to start at fly-half, however O'Connor is unwilling to give up the jersey just yet.

"I'd like another crack at fly-half, 100 per cent," he said. "I'm not too fazed about where I start, but I'd like another go there.

"You're always better for playing matches with the guys around you. We did some good things and let some things go.

"If we win I've done my job, if we haven't then I've got to go back to the drawing board."


While O'Connor struggled at the Suncorp Stadium, the Australia scrum emerged with credit.

And tighthead Ben Alexander, who will win his 50th cap on Saturday, believes the pack can only improve.

"We've always been confident in our scrum. Bar one game in the last year, we've scrummaged well," he said.

"We've come across their guys plenty of times before. We knew what they were capable of.

"It was good for us to get a hit out at eight, like for combinations in the backs, it's the same for forwards when it comes to scrummaging.

"It's a team effort and you have to find your rhythm together. It's a good starting point, but we want to eradicate any bad scrums from our game.

"The Lions won't be happy with the way they finished and knowing (forwards coach) Graham Rowntree, they'll be work hard on that this week."


The Lions do have doubts over the availability of loosehead Alex Corbisiero, who is struggling with a calf injury, so Mako Vunipola may start the second Test.

However Alexander claims tighthead Adam Jones is the most influential figure in the tourists' scrum.

"Their looseheads are dropping like flies! That's the first time I've played against Alex and he's a very good player," he said.

"Saying that, Mako Vunipola's been having a great tour. He's been one of the Lions' best forwards on tour so far.

"But the key to the Lions' scrum is definitely Adam Jones. He drives it."

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