15 Jun 2013

Genia backs O'Connor at 10 against Lions

2:46 pm on 15 June 2013

Wallabies vice-captain Will Genia has changed tack and endorsed new halves partner James O'Connor despite warnings he'll be exposed at five-eighth by the British and Irish Lions.

The former Lions playmaker Stuart Barnes has shone the spotlight on backline utility O'Connor's selection at No.10, stressing Australia will lose the first Test with him in the pivotal position.

The Melbourne Rebels star has played just one of his 37 Tests at five-eighth - way back in December 2011 - and Barnes feels his lack of experience would make him a massive weak link against the Lions.

But Genia, who previously wished coach Robbie Deans would show faith in Reds teammate Quade Cooper, was confident O'Connor was shaping up nicely for the three-Test series.

The world-class halfback said the pair had quickly struck up a strong combination, on and off the field, in training and planning over the past two weeks.