Exclusive: Interview with James O'Connor's Hair

James O'Connor's hair in scruffier times
James O'Connor has been struggling with injuries this season but it's given him time to concentrate on grooming his first true love, his hair. In this exclusive interview, The Rolling Maul managed to catch O'Connor's hair in between speaking appointments. Here, it shares a few thoughts, reflects upon its upbringing and voices its hopes and concerns for the future:

Rolling Maul: Thank you for joining the Rolling Maul today.

James O'Connor's Hair: It's a pleasure.

RM: James was born on the Gold Coast but spent five years growing up in Auckland. Did you find establishing your roots to be difficult as a result of the moving around?

JOH: Oh absolutely. I was primed for the beach lifestyle. For one thing I'm a natural blonde, though maybe not as blonde as James might want you to think, so I fit right in during those early days. The sun was a bit damaging, the tyke wouldn't wear a hat no matter how many times I bugged him about it, but the salt water was a handy substitute for shampoo which James refused to use all that often. So the move to New Zealand was probably pretty timely from a preservation perspective. Funnily enough, I was only talking to James O'Connor's skin just the other day about this, it agreed that it would be a lot frecklier if we'd never moved to Auckland. Indeed the skin reckons it might even have a few more wrinkles. Hey, that's just between you and me, right? Don't want James knowing I've let out that little scoop (laughs).

RM: So when you were 11 you moved to Brisbane, then to Perth in 2008 and now to Melbourne. Where is home?

JOH: Well you know that saying about 'home is where you lay your hat'? Well I'm not really all that keen on hats. Sure they keep the sun off and stuff but at best you'll stay a bit warm and at worst you'll end up with hat hair. I don't know how Steve Waugh's Hair could ever put up with it to be honest, I'm just glad James plays Rugby and not cricket. So, yeah, if you don't have a hat to lay then you don't really have a home to put it in.

RM: O'Connor copped a lot of flack when he moved from the Western Force to Melbourne over him saying he was only going to do what was best for his brand. You're a big part of that brand. What role did you have to play in the decision to move to Melbourne?

The spikey days - early 2009

Justin Bieber or Ken Doll?
2010 - a bad hair year 
JOH: Well that was a tough period for us. We'd just come through our productive Matt Giteau inspired spiky period, what with it being 2009 that was sort of in, at least Gits' hair thought so but in retrospect look what happened to Gits. Anyway from 2010 into 2011 it all just started going pear-shaped and I don't mean the hair, it was worse that that. It was just one disaster after another. First there was the Justin-Bieber look which everyone like totally misinterpreted. And then the comb-over was the last straw.

RM: We actually have a photo of that.

The infamous comb-over -
the final straw(berry blonde)

JOH: Oh you f***ing prick (laughing). OMG look at that. Yeah well that was it. We just needed to get as far away from Perth as we could. So that's why we ended up in Melbourne. People misunderstood that when James was talking about his brand he was actually referring to his brand of conditioner which was getting increasingly hard to find in Perth. And as far as product goes that place is a wasteland.

RM: So how have you settled into Melbourne?

Early Melbourne
Even O'Connor's hair was rebelling
JOH: Well it's a bit damp here which is never good for my body. It also took a while to find a new hairdresser which is a bit traumatic so those early transitional days were often a bit of a disaster. Look I think we nailed it a couple of weeks ago when we unveiled the new look.

RM: Yeah tell me about that. What was the inspiration? Early 1990s white boy hip hop by any chance?

Waving past a defender
JOH: Yeah there's a bit of that but it's more of an expression about personality and style on and off the field. More to the point it's my personality. Me as an individual and not just as an appendage. I'm standing tall and proud. When James zigs I'll decide whether I want to zig with him or zag. And at the end of the day I'm indestructible. The liver may have shivered and the hammy may have twinged that first match back but you might have noticed I barely moved. You could say I was hair-raising. That's not to say we'll ever part though.

RM: So what about with the Wallabies? Have you missed being part of that action?

JOH: Oh for sure, but all this injury time has given me plenty of opportunities to get my facebook up to date and establish a really strong Twitter presence. I can't wait to get back though. Between myself, Kurtley Beale's Moustache, Berrick Barnes' Headgear and Digby Ioane's Tattoos we're gonna have an awesome back line come September.

RM: Well good luck for the future and thanks for speaking to the Rolling Maul.

JOH: No worries.


This is completely bonkers and yet also the most strangely funny thing i've read this week.

Particularly liked the "when James was talking about his brand he was actually referring to his brand of conditioner" haha.

Keep up the good work. Must be draining writing about the Tahs after their exploits this season!
Very nice work. Let's just hope the Rebels comb through the lessons of season 2012 and gel together better next year, or they'll remain forever on the fringe of Super rugby...