O'Connor to stay with the Force

Jun 8 • International, Super Rugby, Super Rugby News • 2760 Views • Comments Off on O'Connor to stay with the Force

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Perth – In-demand Wallabies sensation James O’Connor is poised to re-sign with the Western Force after knocking back pitches from the Reds, Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels.

O’Connor is expected to sign a new one-year deal with the Force in the coming days in a major boost to the Perth franchise.

The 20-year-old utility back, who has already played 27 Tests for Australia, is pivotal to the 12th-placed Force’s future success.

At different times in the past month the Gold Coast product was reportedly ready to join Wallabies team-mate Kurtley Beale by signing with the cashed-up Rebels while the table-topping Reds were also confident of luring him home.

New Brumbies coach Jake White and former Wallabies playmaker Stephen Larkham also pulled out all stops to lure the gifted talent to Canberra.

Although Force officials have yet to confirm a new deal, it’s understood O’Connor merely needs to finalise the ARU component of his contract.

He indicated an announcement was looming on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“Journos everywhere at training. Nothing finalised yet tweeps n want you guys to be the first to know. Hopefully, have something for you soon,” he tweeted.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie admitted on Wednesday that O’Connor had notified the Queensland Rugby Union he would not take up their offer.

“I know he won’t be at the Reds, but where he’s going to be I don’t know,” he said on announcing the Reds squad to take on the Force in Perth on Saturday night.

“I’ve been suspicious he wasn’t coming our way for some time because it’s been dragging on.”

O’Connor, who can play almost anywhere in the backline, made his debut for the Force against the Reds aged 17 in 2008 and played his first Test just a year later.

The incumbent Test winger kicked the Wallabies to their first trans-Tasman victory in 11 Tests against the All Blacks last October when he slotted a last-gasp sideline conversion in Hong Kong.

 

(Sport24)

 

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