The Englishman who saved Wallaby O’connor
Australia back’s return to the top level is due to Ollie Pryce’s guidance, writes
trained in Thai boxing and wrestling as well as Brazilian ju-jitsu.
“‘Mind’ is about study, knowledge,” Pryce continues. “There is creation and imagination, the execution of discipline and even things like loneliness, which can be necessary for growth.
“‘Soul’ would be spending time with nature, connecting with what the Polynesians call ‘mana’ and the pursuit of purpose. For ascension, you have to have something to ascend to. It’s important to connect to that. Otherwise you are drifting.”
In September last year, O’connor and Pryce travelled to Iceland.
Instagram posts from that trip detailed isolation tanks, meditation and river swims. It was also when O’connor voiced his goal of reaching Japan with the Wallabies.
Pryce believes that, once O’connor “broke through”, the universe “sent him opportunities” – conversations with head coach of Australia Michael Cheika and performances for Sale that caught the eye of Rugby Australia’s new director of rugby Scott Johnson.
When Sale’s director of rugby, Steve Diamond, agreed to release O’connor at the start of July, he headed back to Australia. Pryce followed and supported him with Saviour World’s techniques. He remains in Brisbane and will be watching today. “James is now living a miracle,” he says. “But, once you get to a higher frequency, you have to work harder and become more focused. That has been part of the challenge for James at the World Cup because he has everything there to reprogramme him – fame, bright lights, the glamour of it all.”
After the tournament, another chapter will begin for O’connor at the Queensland Reds, where he can be a mentor for Jordan Petaia – who starts ahead of him at outside centre for Australia today. Pryce reckons seniority will suit him.
“I’m very honoured to have worked with James,” Pryce says. “I have a huge amount of respect for him. He has had to overcome a huge amount of adversity, to overcome his own ego. He is a credit to himself and every single person he has inspired so far.”