Rugby - O'Connor wants 10 shirt against Lions

James O'Connor has set his sights on claiming the fly-half jersey when Australia take on the British and Irish Lions this summer.

PA Sport

With the international futures of Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale in the air, the number 10 shirt is up for grabs and O'Connor, who played fly-half for the Rebels during Saturday's Super Rugby defeat to the Southern Kings, insists he feels most comfortable playing there.

"The more we can push each other to get those starting positions to make the team better - it's going to be big trouble for the Lions," said O'Connor.

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

"It's sort of second nature - it's where I feel most comfortable. The more I play 10 for the Rebels, the easier the transition is going to be to the Wallabies, if I'm selected there."

The utility man has played all across the back division for the Wallabies in his international career but has revealed coach Robbie Deans is now giving him more consideration for the playmaker's role.

"My conversation with Robbie is he likes me in that 10 position and also on the wing," he added.

"I feel very comfortable in both those positions.

"I've got to work my way into the team first - it's not a given. I've been out for a year and there are other guys who are playing some great footy as well, so there's a lot to be done and a lot of form to be hit first."

Cooper was not named in the 30-man training group selected by Deans last week while Beale is on an indefinite break from the sport.

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