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Super Rugby
Reds admit defeat in O'Connor race
ESPNscrum Staff
June 8, 2011
Western Force fly-half James O'Connor breaks clear, Western Force v Melbourne Rebels, Super Rugby, nib Stadium, Perth, Australia, April 2, 2011
James O'Connor will not sign for the Reds © Getty Images
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Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has conceded defeat in the race to sign Wallabies star James O'Connor.

The Queensland franchise have been involved in a four-way tug-of-war for the 20-year-old back's services, with his current side, the Western Force, also duking it out with the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels.

Reports in Australia that he had re-signed in Perth were dismissed as premature on Tuesday, but McKenzie has now admitted that he will not be joining friend and Wallabies team-mate Quade Cooper in Brisbane.

"We've been contacted and he won't be at the Reds," he said. "Where he is going to be I don't know. I've always said it is difficult to get people to leave and move around.

"The longer it goes on, the less likely it is. I have always been, I guess, suspicious he wasn't coming our way for some time because it's been dragging on. I've been thinking more laterally for some time."

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