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James O'Connor man of the match in London Irish win

The controversial Australian star was the key man in the Premiership victory over Worcester.

O'Connor scored all of London Irish's points.
O'Connor scored all of London Irish's points.
Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

AUSTRALIAN FULLBACK JAMES O’Connor was the star of the show as London Irish claimed a 22-9 win over Worcester in the Premiership.

In a team also including Irishmen Tomás O’Leary and Eamonn Sheridan – as well as Irish-qualified centre Fergus Mulchrone – O’Connor scored all the points. His maiden try for the Exiles arrived in the 60th minute, with a conversion and five penalties rounding off a strong performance.

It was the first time the 23-year-old assumed the first-choice place-kicking duties for London Irish, and head coach Brian Smith’s decision was rewarded with an assured display from the tee. This was also O’Connor’s opening taste of success with the Irish-owned club since joining in October.

Smith will now be hoping that the talented Australian can drive London Irish up the Premiership table, in which they currently sit 10th. The fact that Worcester have yet to win a league game this season means O’Connor will need to produce similar performances against more established opposition if his stint in England is to be viewed as a success.

The 44-times capped Wallaby has been heavily linked with a move to Toulon next season, but no official confirmation has been forthcoming. London Irish are keen to hang onto O’Connor beyond the end of this campaign, and with more performances like this afternoon’s the controversial back will win the supporters over too.

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Murray Kinsella

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