There has been recent speculation by some in the mainstream rugby media that James O’Connor and the Queensland Rugby Union are sounding each other out about a deal that will see the once errant Wallaby come back to Queensland in 2015.
On 12 May the Sydney Morning Herald’s own Georgina Robinson wrote “James O’Connor is in talks to join the Queensland Reds in a bid to resurrect his Wallabies career before next year’s World Cup.”
Robinson in my opinion is an astute and informed scribe so I think she must be onto something.
To date I am unaware of any comment made by Queensland Rugby Union power broker Jim Carmichael denying any facet of Robinson’s statement.
Naturally I was intrigued about the O’Connor conjecture. Who wouldn’t be? It’s James O’Connor we are talking about here.
However, O’Connor will not be playing for free. It would appear O’Connor wants his pound of flesh if he is to sign with the struggling franchise.
Is it possible that O’Connor is not only looking for a path to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but also a path to the 2016 Olympics? Or does he want to win Super Rugby titles with Queensland and play 100 Tests for the Wallabies?
Either way the ARU do not appear to be looking to make an investment in O’Connor at this time, but appear to be happy for Queensland to do so.
This is prudent considering O’Connor’s chequered past.
What is O’Connor worth to Queensland and Australian rugby?
If you were in business would you stump up your hard earned to see him back as part of a third-party arrangement?
Would you want your brand in the hand, on the head, wrist or chest of James O’Connor after his up and down history with off-field behaviour?