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Thread: Boy wonder's big blue

  1. #1
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    Boy wonder's big blue

    NICK TAYLOR, The West Australian
    June 20, 2011, 6:50 am

    WA News ©
    The Western Force coach who brought James O'Connor to the club believes the young Wallaby has made the wrong decision to sign with the Melbourne Rebels.

    John Mulvihill, who helped sign O'Connor when he was a 17-year-old schoolboy at Brisbane's Nudgee College, is disappointed and believes he has let down many people at the franchise.

    The Force severed ties with O'Connor last week after he failed to meet a deadline and made demands the club described as unworkable.

    Mulvihill, an assistant to John Mitchell for four years until he quit in 2009, had the first dealings with O'Connor and his parents.

    "I am very disappointed for the Force with his decision. It will have left a bad taste," said Mulvihill, who now coaches the Kintetsu Liners in Japan.

    "A lot of people at the club worked hard to make sure he got the best coaching and development.

    "I thought he had made the right decision to stay at the Force. It would have been the best place for his development. I was shocked to learn he had back-pedalled.

    "I question the way he is portraying himself, talking up his rugby brand and his image. They are not his words. That's not James speaking.

    "Perhaps with better advice he would have stayed at the Force. The Force went out of their way for him and in the end did the right thing, looking after the club rather than putting a player above the team and it should be applauded."

    It is understood that although the initial Force offer to O'Connor was less than his previous deal, it was in line with cuts to all players in the face of $300,000 less funding from the Australian Rugby Union and the expected imposition of a salary cap.

    O'Connor asked for more and received an improved second offer that included a salary of about $200,000, similar to all senior players. On top of that would have been his private third-party deals but in the end the Force tired of waiting for an answer after five months of negotiations.

    Meanwhile, All Black speedster Cory Jane has been targeted by the Force.

    Force coach Richard Graham has been in talks with the 22-Test winger and full-back for several weeks and if he moved would be the club's 2012 marquee signing.

    Graham has made no secret that he is searching for outside backs to strengthen his stocks, particularly with this year's marquee signing David Smith heading to Toulon next season.

    Reports from New Zealand say Jane, 28, is unhappy at the Hurricanes after a disrupted season.

    He made his debut for the All Blacks in 2008 after his first game for Wellington in 2003.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/spo...ders-big-blue/

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  2. #2
    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    ok, i agree, but John, why would you bother commenting?

    Nick, was he the only person you could get to comment?

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    Well its certainly interesting that Mulvihill would owe EWF no favours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    ok, i agree, but John, why would you bother commenting?

    If the journo asks you a question why not give an honest reply?

    I get tired of media and image management this was a refreshing change.

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