Queensland Reds boss Jim Carmichael says new recruit James O’Connor will honour his two year deal despite conflicting overseas reports.
Queensland Reds chief executive Jim Carmichael says James O’Connor will honour his Super Rugby contract and stay beyond the 2015 World Cup despite conflicting overseas reports.
Just days after the Reds confirmed O’Connor had signed a two-year contract from 2015, newspapers claimed the 44-Test Wallaby would return to his current French club Toulon following next year’s World Cup – just six months into his new Super Rugby deal.
French reports claimed O’Connor would leave Australia after the 2015 World Cup in Britain to honour a clause in a signed three-year contract with the Toulon club.
But Carmichael said on Wednesday he could not see any reason O’Connor would not be at the Reds for the 2015 and 2016 Super Rugby seasons.
“In the interest of all parties, I’m not going to discuss the detail of any players’ contract,” he said.
“However, I’m completely satisfied that the agreement we have set is in the best interests of the QRU, the Reds, Australian Rugby and James O’Connor.
“My priority now is to give James the best opportunity to achieve our agreed objectives when he joins the Reds, so I hope that this is the last time I will need to clarify our position.”
The Reds confirmed rugby’s worst kept secret when they unveiled O’Connor and code hopper Karmichael Hunt as their new recruits last Friday.
However, a question mark quickly emerged over O’Connor’s future after Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal told French newspapers that he expected O’Connor back after the World Cup and to play another two seasons.
“We always said James O’Connor had signed for three years at Toulon with a possible six months absence during the season to be able to play in the World Cup,” he told French newspaper Midi Olympique’s website www.rugbyrama.fr.
“So we respect what has been signed … he is committed for two years after the Cup.”
Adding further confusion, Boudjellal told Var Matin newspaper: “There is no clause or provision for him to stay in Australia.
“If he leaves, he comes back. That’s certain.”