Reds sign O'Connor and Karmichael Hunt
August 29, 2014
James O'Connor is back in Super Rugby © Getty Images
The Reds have confirmed the signings of rugby league star Karmichael Hunt and Toulon back James O'Connor.
The transfers were confirmed on Friday night at the Reds' gala ball in Brisbane and both will arrive in time for the start of the 2015 Super Rugby season. Hunt joins the Reds having spent time in league, where he played in the State of Origin game, and the last five seasons in AFL at the Gold Coast Suns. He has spent time in rugby before in a short spell at Biarritz in 2010 but he is now back in union as one of the Reds' backs.
And he has been joined by O'Connor who has spent the past season in Europe. He played for London Irish last term and is currently at Toulon but is returning to Australia as he aims to break his way back into the Wallabies reckoning ahead of next year's World Cup having last played for the international side in 2013.
O'Connor was kicked out of the Wallabies squad during last season's Rugby Championship due to ill-discipline but Reds CEO Jim Carmichael is confident the new recruit will fit in at the franchise. "There's risk in everything in life," Carmichael said. "And where I sit at the moment, I'm very confident that he'll thrive in our environment."
For O'Connor, the move sees him return home to Brisbane having gone to school at Nudgee College. "It's great to be coming home," O'Connor said. "Look, I'm a Queensland boy through and through.
"I also think it is a place where I can be nurtured and really fulfil my potential in Australian rugby. For me to come home and pull on that Reds jersey is going to be a huge honour. Obviously, there's a lot of hard work that needs to go into it and there's a great culture in the team and one I just can't wait to throw myself into."
The Reds also announced they will make four more signings in the coming weeks.
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