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.
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games