O’Connor to join Reds

James O'Connor has signed a two-year deal with the Queensland Reds, who have also snapped up an Aussie rules player.

O'Connor was released by the Rebels at the end of last year's Super Rugby tournament following a number of off-field controversies. The last straw was when he arrived at a Perth airport drunk and was escorted away by the police.

The 24-year-old had little choice but to go north where he had a stint with London Irish before joining French club Toulon.  

O'Connor said he was excited to be returning to Brisbane. 

'I'm a Queensland boy through and through, growing up on the Gold Coast and spending most of my time in Brisbane. 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. There's some massive leaders in the team and some great youth coming through.

'I also think it is a place where I can be nurtured and really fulfil my potential in Australian rugby.'

Meanwhile, the Reds have signed Karmichael Hunt on a three-year deal.

The 27-year-old has been playing Aussie rules for the Gold Coast Suns since 2011, following stints in rugby league with the Brisbane Broncos (2004-2009) and rugby union with Biarritz (2009-10). He is expected to play fullback for the Reds.

Photo: Getty Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt