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Australia

O'Connor linked with Reds, Force

12th February 2014 08:50

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Wanted: James O'Connor

Australia international James O'Connor has been linked with moves to the Western Force and Queensland Reds next year.

O'Connor is due to return to his homeland in 2015 after stints in Europe with London Irish and Toulon.

The 23-year-old was sacked by the Australia Rugby Union last year before joining the Exiles on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

While unconfirmed, O'Connor will then leave Irish at the end of the current Premiership season and take up a short-term deal with European champions Toulon until the beginning of next year.

The Force came close to signing O'Connor before he opted to move overseas and boss Michael Foley has retained his interest in the player, so long as O'Connor falls in with team protocol.

"We are interested in players who are aligned with our values here at the Force," Foley said AAP.

"Anything that involves a player arriving late and leaving early doesn't fit into that."

Reds boss Richard Graham, who worked with O'Connor during his time at the Force, is also understood to be open over the possibility of bringing in the versatile back according to WA Today.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has again reiterated his stance on only selecting players for the Rugby World Cup who will play in Super Rugby in 2015, hence O'Connor's return home.

"Now is the time to be having chats because you know what players are coming off contract and you can plan your squad around it and work from there," said McKenzie.

"He's got to break bread with one of the Super teams ... he knows how I'm thinking about it from an eligibility perspective [for Wallabies]."

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