22 Jun 2011

Force in hunt for Jane, Nonu

12:15 pm on 22 June 2011

The Western Force coach Richard Graham has confirmed All Blacks' linebreakers Ma'a Nonu and Cory Jane are two of the players in the mix to become the Perth-based franchise's marquee recruit next Super Rugby season.

The Force need to plug several holes in their backline following the loss of star Wallabies back James O'Connor to Melbourne Rebels and winger David Smith to French club Toulon.

Nonu, a 102kg powerhouse with 56 Test caps, has been told his services are no longer required at the Hurricanes, while Jane, who can play either fullback or wing, is also set to leave the New Zealand franchise.

But Graham says the Force will also explore other options.

Meanwhile, Graham has refused to be drawn on recent comments from O'Connor, who claimed the Force reneged on an agreed verbal deal and gave him just one hour to decide whether to sign off on an amended contract.

The Force (five wins, two draws, nine losses) finished third in the Australian conference and 12th overall in what Graham describes as a frustrating season.