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O'Connor and Beale to renew the dazzle

James O'Connor of the Rebels lines up a shot at goal during the Super Rugby trial against the Waratahs.

James O'Connor of the Rebels lines up a shot at goal during the Super Rugby trial against the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

James O'Connor says he and Rebels teammate Kurtley Beale are out to put on a show for the Melbourne Super franchise having come through his first match in seven months after recovering from a hamstring injury.

O'Connor said he backed up well from Saturday's 24-16 loss to the Waratahs at North Hobart Stadium - his first game since being sidelined by the injury last year. He is now to resume the role switching between fullback and five-eighth that he shared with Beale at the Rebels last season.

Beale did not play against the Waratahs on Saturday. Coach Damien Hill rested him because of his arduous workload last year.

Israel Folau of the Waratahs breaks through the Rebels defence to score the first try. Click for more photos

Israel Folau and the Waratahs defeat the Melbourne Rebels

Israel Folau stars in his rugby debut. Photo: Getty Images

But when the Rebels play the Hurricanes at Geelong on Saturday, O'Connor and Beale are likely to play alongside each other and the plan is to entertain.

O'Connor said the pair would switch roles from five-eighth to fullback throughout the season.

''As much as they call it No.10 and No.15, the way me and 'KB' will be playing is that whoever is closest to the ruck will control that phase,'' he said.

''I like playing off KB … he can take a ball to the line [like] not many players can. I love running inside and outside of him. He creates time and space.''

O'Connor played 40 minutes of Saturday's game against the Waratahs, 20 minutes at five-eighth and then another 20 minutes at fullback. The opportunity to run at full stride did not come his way in the game, but he was nonetheless thrilled to have broken his drought of game time.

''Words can't describe that feeling when you get back on the field … you don't know what you have until it's gone. It was awesome,'' O'Connor said.

''I didn't get through as much as I would have liked. I got a few carries, a few kicks away.

''I got a few tackles and got a nice hit put upon myself as well.''

■ The Rebels will find out on Monday the extent of the shoulder injury to their Wallaby winger Cooper Vuna.


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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
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Round 4
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