15 Jun 2011

O'Connor leaves Force for Rebels

6:52 pm on 15 June 2011

The Wallabies utility back James O'Connor has quit the Western Force to join the Melbourne Rebels for the 2012 Super Rugby season.

The Rebels are waiting for the Australian Rugby Union to sign off on the deal before announcing they have lured one of the game's hottest prospects to Melbourne.

Twenty-year-old O'Connor will link with good friend and Wallabies teammate Kurtley Beale, who's leaving the New South Wales Waratahs for the Rebels in 2012.

They will dramatically strengthen a Rebels line-up that has struggled this season with the competition newcomers in last position.

The Force announced they had withdrawn from talks with O'Connor's management today after failing to agree on a new deal they called extremely generous.

O'Connor began his Super Rugby career at only at 17 and has already played 27 tests.