Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 72

Thread: James O'Connor on cusp of Australian return with Queensland, Aussie Sevens circling

  1. #16
    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,603
    vCash
    5348000
    He just signed with the reds

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #17
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    15,563
    vCash
    5264000
    Dry July! Tong Master 141 Club Award TWF Contributor! TWF Competition Winner!
    James O’Connor set to make Wallabies return after taking steps to finalise a long-term deal with Queensland Reds


    July 2, 2019 7:52am
    Christy Doran


    James O’Connor is expected to receive a late birthday present on Sunday, with the talented back set to board a flight with his Wallabies teammates to South Africa just two days after turning 29.

    After weeks of talks with Rugby Australia officials about a return home, foxsports.com.au understands the second youngest Wallaby of all time will once again be eligible to play for the national side six years after he last took the field.

    It’s understood that the 44-Test back, who made his debut for the Wallabies off the bench against Italy in 2008, moved to sign a long-term deal to return to the Queensland Reds in 2020 on Monday night which could see him remain in Australia for at least three years.

    But after originally being tempted back to Australian rugby by the prospect of playing for the Sevens teams at next year’s Olympics and holding talks with coach Tim Walsh, those plans appear to have been put on the backburner.

    O’Connor will likely only come into the equation to play for the Sevens side should he again miss selection at September’s World Cup.

    He would then be looked at playing in the first four tournaments of the World Series Sevens in Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton and Sydney.

    Once pen is put to paper, O’Connor will be immediately eligible to start training with the Wallabies and it’s expected that national coach Michael Cheika will include the utility back in his squad for Australia’s opening Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks in Johannesburg on July 21 AEST.

    His sudden return from Sale Sharks was earmarked last week when Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond told England’s The Rugby Paper that O’Connor had been an exemplary person since joining the club in 2017.

    “James has been brilliant from day one. I told him if he didn’t overstep then everything would be great and we never had a bad word,” Diamond said.

    “If I was a betting man I would be expecting to be waving goodbye to James shortly. James would be first to say he didn’t handle fame and fortune in the best way, but he is now 28 years old and a more accomplished player with silky skills and a brilliant ability to assist with line breaks and hits.

    “Whoever gets him is getting a little pearl.”

    His return to Australian rugby has been made possible after O’Connor met Australian Sevens coaches Walsh and Stephen Hoiles in London two months ago.

    After due diligence was done by Walsh checking through the player’s chequered history, negotiations ramped up and Wallabies coach Cheika was interested in being able to have the utility back, who played on the wing at the 2011 World Cup and at fly-half against the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

    But once Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson caught wind of the player’s desire to return home and also sounded out O’Connor’s coaches about the his changed character, the high performance boss demanded he play Super Rugby.

    He expected return helps ease the loss of captain and inside centre Samu Kerevi, who will join Japanese Top League powerhouse Suntory Sungoliath, and will likely play in the midfield.

    Former Wallabies teammate Drew Mitchell last week told foxsports.com.au that O’Connor had matured in recent years and would be an outstanding addition back in Australian rugby.

    “I think he should be welcomed back,” Mitchell said.

    “It’s been well documented about the number of players that are leaving Super Rugby and you’ve got someone of the quality of James O’Connor wanting to come back.

    “I think most certainly we need to find a way to fit him into one of our teams and allow him to come back and fulfil his potential here in Australia.”

    “Just his general persona (changed),” Mitchell added.

    “I was at the Force when he turned up as a young 17-year-old, so I’ve known him since the start of his professional career and I’ve had this conversation with James a number of times, we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye throughout that journey.

    “When he turned up to Toulon we had a team full of stars. James, even when he started at school, was always a big fish and the star that everyone turned to and the one that got all the press and the rest of it, and for the first time when he turned up to Toulon he was just one amongst the others…

    “But in that environment where we were for those few years. no-one was bigger than the team and James’ willingness to jump in line, be himself most certainly, but also do everything for the betterment of the group was for me a big indication that he grew a fair amount in that time from when I played with him previously in Australia.”

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/w...477344b8b7229e

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  3. #18
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    15,563
    vCash
    5264000
    Dry July! Tong Master 141 Club Award TWF Contributor! TWF Competition Winner!
    O'Connor set for Wallabies comeback after signing with Reds: reports
    By Ian Ransom
    July 2, 2019 — 1.03pm


    Former Australia five-eighth James O'Connor has signed a long-term deal with Super Rugby side Queensland Reds and will be included in the Wallabies' Rugby Championship squad, broadcaster Fox Sports reported on Tuesday.

    O'Connor, who played the last of his 44 tests six years ago against Argentina, would join the Reds in the 2020 season on a minimum three-year deal, the report said.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...02-p523b7.html

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  4. #19
    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Carramar
    Posts
    3,589
    vCash
    5354000
    All the skullduggery piss’s me off! Why the f@rk don’t they just admit they have f@rked up selections for so long now that our best players are now more than likely to be playing overseas then make a decision, “do we want to be the best or not?” If the answer is yes pick the best from where ever they are playing and be the best! If the answer is no put up the closed sign because people are sick and tired of looking at the team and going why the f@rk is he out there!

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    May the FORCE be with you!

  5. #20
    Champion valzc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Shenton Park
    Posts
    2,422
    vCash
    5364000
    This is just opening up a recipe for yet another trainwreck - I await with bated breath to see how saga # 4,032 of the RA's book of fkups plays out on this one. it should either fizzle and die or explode in their faces as per the norm.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  6. #21
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    perth
    Posts
    141
    vCash
    5162000
    Another $ 800 000 a year club rugby player perhaps ?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  7. #22
    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    wembley
    Posts
    7,418
    vCash
    5298000
    141 Club Award TWF Contributor!
    oh well.Thorn's no dickhead policy has gone out the window

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  8. #23
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mandurah
    Posts
    12,618
    vCash
    5366000
    The Bronze Star of Faith TWF Contributor!
    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    oh well.Thorn's no dickhead policy has gone out the window
    Ahh, yeah nah s'all good. RA officials have done rigorous due diligence on Brand O'C. Said so in the SMH.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

  9. #24
    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Freo
    Posts
    2,757
    vCash
    5228000
    You couldn't make this shit up

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    The long sobs of autumn's violins wound my heart with a monotonous languor

  10. #25
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    15,563
    vCash
    5264000
    Dry July! Tong Master 141 Club Award TWF Contributor! TWF Competition Winner!
    Early prediction - JOC will be the best player of the RWC for Australia.

    You heard it here first

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  11. #26
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mandurah
    Posts
    12,618
    vCash
    5366000
    The Bronze Star of Faith TWF Contributor!
    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    Early prediction - JOC will be the best player of the RWC for Australia.

    You heard it here first
    Probably right TIF. With the current benchmark at an all time low, he'd be a shoe-in.

    4 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

  12. #27
    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    4,170
    vCash
    5334000
    Dry July! 141 Club Award
    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    Early prediction - JOC will be the best player of the RWC for Australia.

    You heard it here first
    Damned with faint praise!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

  13. #28
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    15,563
    vCash
    5264000
    Dry July! Tong Master 141 Club Award TWF Contributor! TWF Competition Winner!
    FIRST PICS: James O'Connor back at Wallabies training, ex-teammates say he'd be "ideal" for World Cup
    Today at 3:06 PM The Rugby Championship
    by Emma Greenwood


    Former Wallabies stars Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau say James O'Connor is an "ideal candidate" for a return to the Test fold given the genuine changes he has made to his life.

    O'Connor flew into Brisbane from Sydney on Tuesday night before being invited to train with the Wallabies at Wests Rugby Club on Wednesday morning.

    It's understood a deal has been done with Rugby Australia after O'Connor was released from the final year of his contract with English club Sale and while the Reds are reportedly still conducting due diligence on the classy back, he is all but certain to link with Queensland for next season.

    O'Connor will not be parachuted into Australia's squad for its Rugby Championship opener in South Africa and is instead likely to continue training with the wider Wallabies squad when they return.

    In what was O'Connor's first training session with the Wallabies since 2013, the 44-Test cap utility showed glimpses of his former self with some deft passing and nice footwork.

    There are no guarantees O'Connor's 11th-hour crack at World Cup selection will work but Michael Cheika extended a training invitation to get a close-up look at the player Ewen McKenzie once forecast could play 200 Tests for the Wallabies.

    O'Connor exited Australian rugby on bad terms in 2013, however, after a string of off-field controversies and he has played overseas since, both in France and England.

    Mitchell, a former teammate at the Force and Toulon who met with the 28-year-old in the past week, is a former sceptic-turned-backer of O'Connor and said he was "brave" to test the waters when he knew his return to Australia would stoke up criticism and doubters.

    "That's the word I would use is brave - he's putting himself out there," Mitchell said.

    "He knows that there's going to be a section of the community out there that are going to be against it.

    "I think the difference this time around is that he's not just saying the right things, he's living it now.

    "I think he would probably agree that last time he was saying those things - probably believing it himself that he was doing the right things - but his actions were perhaps a bit different to what he's talking about.

    "This time around, he owns the decisions he's made in the past.

    "Sometimes, he probably tried to water them down or shy away from them or almost skip over them and not take that full ownership and accountability for it, whereas now he (acknowledges) he made those choices and is taking ownership of the position it put him in and put others in and I think that's the difference for me, from last time around."

    With the ability to play anywhere in the backline except scrumhalf, O'Connor's versatility would make him the "ideal candidate" for a World Cup spot, Mitchell said.

    "It's not so much because he can play (a number of) positions - there are a number of players within Australian rugby that can play a number of positions - but the thing that makes sense for James is not just that he can but he has played those positions," Mitchell said.

    "He's played a British and Irish Lions test at no.10, he's played Test matches on the wing, at fullback and at 12 and he's been in those situations, not just that he's a guy that has the potential to play a different position.

    "And I think in that World Cup environment, that's really important."

    In a story for the website PlayersVoice, Giteau said he was pleased O'Connor would have the chance to return to the Wallabies fold.

    "Returning to the Wallabies is something he desperately wants now," Giteau said.

    "If you’ve got someone of his talent who’s desperate to play for his country, and do all the right things, it makes sense to bring him back in.

    "It would be silly not to at least consider him for that squad. It would be a waste if he didn’t get another opportunity – for him and Australian rugby."

    Giteau, who also played with O'Connor in Toulon and has kept in touch since, said he had matured significantly since having his contract torn up by the then-ARU in 2013.

    "He now understands how much he enjoyed playing for Australia, and how much he has missed not playing for his country having been given such an opportunity at such a young age," Giteau said.

    "When something is taken away from you, you realise how much you miss it.

    "When he wasn’t able to play at his level, that frustrated him. Now he’s back playing at a level he wants to be at, you can see he’s enjoying rugby and enjoying training hard and seeing the benefits.

    "If there is any reluctance in Australia to welcome him back, that would be from previous James. I think a lot still see him as that 23-year-old who worried about his ‘brand’. He’s not that same guy."

    Mitchell, who with Giteau returned from overseas to play in the 2015 World Cup, said O'Connor knew he would face criticism from sections of the rugby public not just for his past behaviour but a perception that he was being parachuted into the team.

    But what he liked was the lack of any grandiose statements from O'Connor about what he was going to do, rather a burning desire to play for Australia again.

    "James isn't the one that's making any noise. He's not coming out making any grandstand comments or statements that he's going to do this or going to do that," Mitchell said.

    "He's just saying that he wants to and when you go away and that opportunity is taken from you - and granted, that opportunity has been taken from him because of the decisions he's made - you miss that.

    "I'm liking that I'm seeing James talk about how he wants that and he wants to be involved in that and he's hoping to do the best he can to be in that environment again."

    Flyhalf Bernard Foley said it was great to see O'Connor wanting to be back in the Wallabies fold.
    "It's great that guys are putting their hands up and wanting to be part of the Wallabies team," Foley said.

    "James has come back today and has already shown that he's a quality player and he's got that intent and that desire to come back and play for the Wallabies.

    "And that's only a good thing. It builds the competition, builds the competitiveness around the team and selections and each person driving each other to be a better player."

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/0...es-joc-returns

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  14. #29
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    15,563
    vCash
    5264000
    Dry July! Tong Master 141 Club Award TWF Contributor! TWF Competition Winner!
    Time to set some KPI's me thinks

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  15. #30
    Veteran chibi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chinatown, Roe St
    Posts
    2,616
    vCash
    5252000
    James O'Connor brought in as a direct replacement for Israel Folau. Interesting times.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!


    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 23-09-18, 21:04
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15-10-13, 13:07
  3. Queensland Reds in shock bid for whiz kid James O'Connor
    By travelling_gerry in forum James O'Connor
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 19-06-09, 14:22
  4. O'Connor takes control of Australian sevens
    By beige in forum Wallabies
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-09-08, 12:33
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-01-07, 12:17

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •