O'Connor tipped for Brumbies
Force coach Richard Graham believes the Brumbies are in pole position to sign James O'Connor.
Last Updated: 16/06/11 6:38am
Western Force coach Richard Graham believes the Brumbies are in pole position to sign Australia playmaker James O'Connor.
The Forces announced on Wednesday that the 21-year-old would be leaving Perth at the end of the season after failing to agree a new deal.
That appeared to leave Melbourne Rebels as the clear favourites to sign O'Connor, however Graham is backing the Brumbies to hijack the move.
Graham believes the arrival of Jake White as new Brumbies coach and Eddie Jones as consultant could sway O'Connor's thinking.
"I would think Jake and Eddie coming in there would possibly influence him to go to Canberra," Graham said.
"The Waratahs clearly didn't have any interest from the start, the Reds, given the way they've recruited over the last period of time clearly won't have a place for him, so clearly it's going to be Melbourne or the Brumbies. I would think possibly the Brumbies."
O'Connor has already played his last game for the Force, with suspension ruling him out of the final game of the campaign.
However Graham insists his side have already proved that they can cope without O'Connor.
"We as a team have displayed over the last three or four weeks, with or without James, that we are moving forward as an organisation," he said.
"James has been part of the organisation for the last four years. And has become a Wallaby from the Force. So no doubt there will be some disappointment. But now it's an opportunity for us to move forward.
"I have been active in the market for the past four or five months during this negotiation and will continue to do so."