Reds admit defeat in O'Connor race
June 8, 2011
James O'Connor will not sign for the Reds © Getty Images
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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September