O'Connor points finger at Force
June 19, 2011
Wallabies international O'Connor will be calling Melbourne home as of next season © Getty Images
New Rebels signing James O'Connor insists he had no choice but to quit the Western Force after they "changed the terms" of his contract negotiations.
O'Connor, who was unveiled by the Melbourne-based franchise yesterday having put pen to paper on a two-year deal, insists he wanted to stay in Perth but was forced to look elsewhere. "I had indicated to the Force my preference would be to stay another year and review second-year options after five months to make sure my rugby was developing," O'Connor told the Australian Sunday Times who was reportedly given him an hour to make a decision before they publicly withdrew their offer.
"They had agreed to these terms, but then I found out on Saturday they were changing these terms. To try to find a solution, we proposed other options, but the Force gave me a deadline to make a decision. The deadline was changed three times by the Force and in the end they gave me an hour to make a decision before they publicly announced they were withdrawing their offer."
O'Connor revealed on Twitter that he had signed with the Rebels. "Excited to say I'll be at the Rebels next year. Will miss the Force fans but pumped for new journey," he tweeted.
He also confirmed he had discussions with the Reds and Brumbies. "The Brumbies were a viable option. They have good support structures and have brought in some awesome management," he said. "When you talk about the Reds and Rebels, they have a culture looking to have fun with an emphasis on rugby development."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery