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Michael O'Connor

Michael O’Connor
Year inducted: 2024
True Blue number: 793 
Origin number: 69
Born: 30 November, 1960, Nowra, NSW
Club: St George Dragons, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Position: Centre
Premiership Career: (1983-92) 193 games, 87 tries, 310 goals, 11 field goals, 979 points, (St George Dragons 1983-86, 78 games, 33 tries, 130 goals, 9 field goals, 401 points; Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 1987-92, 115 games, 54 tries, 180 goals, 2 field goals, 578 points)
First Grade debut: St George Dragons v Western Suburbs Magpies at Kogarah Oval on 13 March, 1983
Representative honours: Australia 9 Tests (1986, 1988-90), NSW 19 State of Origins (1985-91)

Michael O’Connor took a giant step towards greatness as a New South Wales representative on the first day that he wore the sky blue jersey. In a memorable debut at Lang Park, O’Connor scored all 18 points for the Blues (two tries and five goals) in a shock 18-2 victory in the opening game of the 1985 series.

He became a mainstay of the Blues backline, playing primarily at centre and occasionally on the wing in 19 appearances through to 1991. It was in his final series that O’Connor figured in one of the most iconic moments in Blues’ Origin history when he booted a sideline conversion in torrential rain at the Sydney Football Stadium to secure a famous win.

O’Connor remains the Blues’ highest scorer, with 129 points, and his tally of 11 tries has not been surpassed by a NSW player at Origin level. He was a key contributor to the Blues’ maiden series success in 1985 and won further series with the state in 1986 (the first Origin clean-sweep) and 1990.

-   David Middleton

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