From idol to teammates: Reds centre Josh Flook embracing O'Connor connection

Thu, 22/04/2021, 12:09 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Reds celebrate a Josh Flook try during their win over the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images

Reds centre Josh Flook has admitted that he had to pinch himself after getting to start alongside idol James O'Connor.

Flook was elevated to the starting line-up for the Reds during their top-of-the-table clash with the Brumbies in Round Eight, coming in a late injury replacement for Hunter Paisami.

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He was a standout during the win, scoring a try whilst recording a team-high 75 metres from just seven carries.

For the 19-year-old, the win was capped off by the ability to play alongside idol James O'Connor was a 'dream come true.'

“(O’Connor) was my idol coming through. I think I was around 11 or 12 when he was making his Wallabies debut so I looked up to him,” he told media on Thursday.

“I was a bit gun shy. I just listened to him, did whatever he said.

“To play alongside him is a dream come true."

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Flook is the latest in the long production line of talented juniors that the Reds are unleashing onto Super Rugby.

The likes of Liam Wright, Fraser McReight, Tate McDermott and Hunter Paisami have established themselves as bonafide stars before they've reached 24.

Flook revealed that these players along with established figures such as O'Connor and Bryce Hegarty have helped him adapt to the pressures and challenges of Super Rugby/

“I remember the Tuesday session, it wasn’t my greatest and Bryce Hegarty pulled me aside and gave me a few words which helped,” he said.

“When I got the call on Thursday that I was starting, I was full of confidence and wanted to do better than my last start, which didn’t work out too well for myself.

“I was really happy to get the start and glad we got the win. Being able to be in this culture with such experienced players even though we’re around the same age…they are passing on their knowledge to me which is really helpful.”

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The Western Force will open Anzac Round when they host ladder leaders, the Queensland Reds at HBF Park in Perth on Friday 23 April, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport,click here to purchase tickets.

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