O'Connor off to Canberra?

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 10:58
Large jameso connorforce3

The rumours are building that Melbourne Rebels star James O'Connor could be leaving the battling franchise for the bright lights of the capital city and the Brumbies.

The rumours are building that Melbourne Rebels star James O'Connor could be leaving the battling franchise for the bright lights of the capital city and the Brumbies.

The Australian media has linked O'Connor with a move to the table-topping Brumbies, but he insists that he is unaware of these rumours.

"I've loved my time in Melbourne and at the moment I don't see any reason for leaving this place," O'Connor told AAP.

"There's a good group of guys. We're very tight. I've got a lot of friends here and I'm enjoying the organisation," the Rebels star added.

The Wallaby back has also come to the defence of their struggling coach, Damien Hill.

"I've got 100 per cent confidence in Damien Hill.

"All of the structures he's had this year have been spot on," O'Connor said.

He maintains that it is not the fault of the coach but of the players that has seen them battle so far this season.

The team has been surrounded by controversy after the dismissal of both Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna from their South African tour, after their 64-7 loss to the Sharks, when they got into a scuffle on the team bus.

The coach still feels that his side are doing the right things and it is just something slight that needs to change in order for them to click.

"This will kick on to be a very good club," Hill said.

"There are a lot of young players in this team coming through. The more adversity they go through and come out on the other side, the better the team will be. In any organisation the culture has got to come first.

"We are working very hard on it to get it right. And 95 per cent of the time we do get it right.

"Unfortunately, the five per cent of those times really has a big impact on the club and it does effect performance," Hill mentioned.

With only one win from their six matches played this season the pressure on coach Damien Hill is huge and the rumours about a top player like O'Connor leaving could very well be justified.

The Rebels take on fellow strugglers the Force this weekend and will be looking to the likes of O'Connor and Scott Higginbotham to spark them into life.

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9