James O'Connor looking for work to fund trust
September 4, 2013
James O'Connor must walk the walk to back the talk © Getty Images
James O'Connor accepts that words aren't enough if he is to regain fully the respect and trust of team-mates.
O'Connor's continued off-field misdemeanours and poor team attitude saw him sacked by Melbourne Rebels, while he lost the respect of Wallabies team-mates with a series of indiscretions that culminated with him photographed with Kurtley Beale in a fast-food restaurant at 4am four days before the second Test against the British & Irish Lions in Melbourne having previously missed team meetings and buses to training.
"I think with the situation and where I was at words weren't enough - it was actions," O'Connor told Rugby Gold. "That's what it's been about. Doing the little things right and moving forward. It had only been four weeks at that point but it's a long process and it's a mindset shift. It's been a tough year. I've definitely learned a lot on and off the field. In the past I haven't dealt with [the attention] as well as I should have."
Helping O'Connor handle better "the attention", Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has let the player know in no uncertain terms the expected standards of behaviour while on international duty.
O'Connor told Rugby Gold that "Link has been very up front with me, straight from the first conversation just after the Lions series".
"He said produce what you do best and we'll go from there."
Follow live text commentary of the Mandela Challenge Plate Test between Australia and South Africa on Saturday, September 7, from 730pm (AEST), 1130am (SAST), 930am (GMT)
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