Rugby: O'Connor says Beale in a good head space

Kurtley Beale. Photo / Getty Images
Kurtley Beale. Photo / Getty Images

James O'Connor says suspended teammate, friend and potential rival for the Wallabies five-eighth position Kurtley Beale, is in a good head space.

Beale has been living with his family in Sydney and having counselling and training after being stood down following an alcohol-fuelled altercation with teammates in South Africa three weeks ago.

Rebels teammate O'Connor said he wasn't sure when Beale would resume playing but had kept in regular contact with him.

"I've been speaking to Kurtley a fair bit, he's in a good head space," O'Connor said in Sydney.

"He's training very hard. From all accounts he's looking pretty fit.

"He said he's going to give me a run for my money in my skin folds."

O'Connor politely dismissed suggestions from some pundits, including Tim Horan and Stirling Mortlock, that he isn't the man to fill the five-eighth role for the Wallabies in the June series against the British and Irish Lions.

"I've played 10 in that ball-playing role since I started playing rugby, even back to my rugby league days," O'Connor said.

"It's sort of second nature to where I feel most comfortable."

O'Connor revealed five-eighth was one of the positions Wallabies coach Robbie Deans had spoken to him about.

"My conversations with Robbie is he likes me in that 10 position and also on the wing," O'Connor said.

"I feel very comfortable in both those positions."


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