Rugby-O’Connor cites burnout in decision to quit Reds captaincy

Australian fly-half James O’Connor suffered from burnout in charge of the Queensland Reds last year and is eager to focus solely on play in the first Super Rugby Pacific competition of 2022, it has been said. he said Wednesday.

O’Connor was named captain of the Reds last February after regular skipper Liam Wright suffered a serious injury. He received rave reviews for leading the team to the Super Rugby AU Championship in 2021, the Reds’ first title in 10 years.

In a surprise, the Reds last week named Wright and scrum-half Tate McDermott co-captains for the upcoming season. O’Connor said the added captain’s responsibilities weighed him down last year and he decided to step down from the role after conversations with the club.

“We picked strengths and where I thought I could improve and get the most out of my performance and it probably ended up being too much of an effort,” said O’Connor, who was named Australia’s Player of the Year. Super Rugby of the Year on Wednesday. “I just wanted to take him out this year to focus on gameplay and game management, playing the best I can because I felt like I was probably exhausted after Super Rugby AU,” he added .

O’Connor struggled with injuries at the end of the Super Rugby season and was limited to four Tests, with Quade Cooper emerging as the Wallabies fly-half. The Wallabies will play Tests against England in July, but O’Connor said he was focused on the Reds’ preparations for Super Rugby Pacific, which begins on February 18.

Although the Reds won the Super Rugby AU title, they were humiliated by New Zealand sides in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition, winning just one out of five matches. O’Connor said he felt the Reds were best placed to challenge Super Rugby Pacific, which will feature five teams from Australia and New Zealand, as well as expansion sides Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika.

“This year there is only one competition and we recognized parts of our game that needed improvement,” O’Connor said. “We want to beat them regularly while playing our style of football and showing exactly where we are.”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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