Denny Solomona’s incredible solo try for England over the summer caught the eye of many spectators, including Sale Sharks’ new signing James O’Connor.
And the Australian international, who joins the Sharks for the new season, has revealed he cannot wait to link up with the 23-year-old rugby league convert this season.
Solomona had a dream start to his England career as he scored the match-winning try for England against Argentina in the first Test back in June.
But the young winger wasn’t the only Shark to be involved with England over the summer with Tom and Ben Curry and Sam James also getting their first taste of international rugby.
Despite the numerous call-ups though, it is the potential link-up with Sharks winger Solomona which is exciting the 27-year-old Australian most ahead of the Aviva Premiership season kicking-off next weekend.
“I’d say I’m most looking forward to playing with Denny, I watched him at the end of last year. I think it will be interesting to see how he goes,” said O’Connor, who was speaking on behalf of Land Rover – this season celebrating its Testimonial Season (ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, the national series of grassroots rugby festivals for U11 and U12 teams).
“He’s also a lot of other guys in the team but if I would say one, it’s going to be him.
“When you’re around the top players and your training with them on an (international) camp a couple of times a day, you’re getting pushed because you’ve never been in that physical level.
“Your skills go up a step and you’re just clinical in decision making, when to go, when to pass, what options are on. It’s only going to be good for Sale.
“Speaking to the Currys when they came back from tour, they were pretty excited to get stuck in.”
Land Rover has a heritage in supporting rugby at all levels, from grassroots to the elite. In celebration of its tenth season partnering with the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, Land Rover will be rewarding a lucky U11 and U12 team from each regional rugby festival with an exclusive trip to Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on May 26.
The teams will get to meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Testimonial Parade at half-time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.
This will be O’Connor’s second stint in the Aviva Premiership Rugby having previously played for London Irish back in 2013-14.
Now with the Sharks though, the utility back believes that greater consistency will be the key to seeing his new club improve on their tenth-place finish last time out.
“Consistency is vital – a big part of last year was just getting the belief that the team was as good as it is and that the structures had been worked on at training were good enough to win games,” he added.
“Mental belief is everything in a game. Most teams are pretty similar. It all comes down to that mind game on the pitch. The top teams just do the little things well all the time.
“We’ve got some pretty good depth. In most positions we’ve got some key players and some adaptable guys who can play in any positions and change the shape of our game.
“It was a little bit of everything that made me want to play in the Aviva Premiership. The package and the idea I had of the club has been spot on.”
Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’; ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The national series of grassroots rugby festivals is testament to Land Rover’s continued support of grassroots rugby through its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal
Image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.