Super Rugby
Cipriani helped lure O'Connor to Rebels
ESPNscrum Staff
June 29, 2011
Western Force fly-half James O'Connor breaks clear, Western Force v Melbourne Rebels, Super Rugby, nib Stadium, Perth, Australia, April 2, 2011
James O'Connor believes the Rebels will be a force to be reckoned with next year © Getty Images

Wallabies starlet James O'Connor says the opportunity to play with some of Super Rugby's finest talents ultimately swayed him to join the Melbourne Rebels for next year's competition.

O'Connor, who has stated that he wishes to play at inside centre at the club, is also looking forward to learning from a rugby league legend in Andrew Johns, a coaching consultant for the Rebels.

"Andrew was one of the best rugby league players going around and he brought so many different things to rugby league," O'Connor told Melbourne's SEN radio on Tuesday.

"So the thought of that and playing with an established backline.

"You've got Stirling Motlock outside of me, Kurtley Beale at the back, who's been on fire of late and Danny Cipriani inside, who is a world-class 10.

"I'm going to be playing the position I want to develop as an international player. It's going to be a pretty unstoppable side, I think."

Cipriani was evidently crucial in luring O'Connor to the Victorian side, and the 20-year-old explained that the pair have already been working on their combinations, if only verbally at this point.

"I've spoken with Danny quite a bit and he has that flair, but can also control a game, and with Kurtley out the back and Sterlo (Mortlock) the hard-angle running player it would allow me to be exactly what I want to be doing, which is being that link player, a ball-player, but with freedom to run," he told the Herald Sun.

The young star also broke his silence on the reasons behind his dramatic exit from Western Force, after the club reportedly back flipped on an agreement to improve rugby conditions in Western Australia.

"There were things that were actually agreed on and then when it came down to the last minute got lost in translation, I guess," he said.

"I believe it wasn't anything unfair (I asked for), the fact that they agreed to them sort of says it all.

"It was all to do with rugby and developing rugby in Perth and keeping the best players."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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