James O'Connor linked with Super Rugby Aotearoa switch

James O'Connor linked with Super Rugby Aotearoa switch

Wallabies and Reds ace James O'Connor has been linked with another move away from Australia with the latest reports linking him with a move to New Zealand.

In the same week that O'Connor was linked with a move to Toulouse, where he would provide cover for injuries in the squad, O'Connor has reportedly been approached a New Zealand franchise to play in next year’s edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.


According to a report by the New Zealand Herald, O'Connor has sounded out the Chiefs as a potential playing destination in 2021. The Herald reports O’Connor is eager to play in “the world’s toughest domestic competition” and “regularly test himself against the best”.

 
 
The versatile 55 test Wallaby has reportedly met with Wallabies coach Dave Rennie to discuss the release from his contract with the Reds to play in New Zealand next year. O'Connor does not meet Australia requirement's for the 'Giteau Law' which requires him to have played 60 test for Australia and the seven-year service. However, Rennie is able to pick two players based abroad in his squad but the New Zealander did not make the most of this rule in 2020. 

There are just two Super Rugby Aotearoa contracts up for grabs with the Blues and Chiefs having a spot available in each of their squads ahead of 2021. The Chiefs have also lost Aaron Cruden to Japan for 2021 and have the likes of Bryn Gatland and youngster Kaleb Trask contracted at first five for 2021 while Damian McKenzie could also fill the void. 

The Blues on the other hand have been linked with the signing of Los Pumas centre Santiago Chocobares.


Full Story via the New Zealand Herald

 

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