Waratahs fill Caldwell void - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs fill Caldwell void

01/10/2010 03:25:17 PM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs have moved swiftly to fill the hole left by lock Will Caldwell, signing former Western Force forward Pat O'Connor on Friday.

Caldwell announced on Thursday he was taking an extended layoff from rugby as he battles Crohn's disease.

Former Queensland Reds academy player O'Connor will be hoping to use the deal to kickstart a career which has stalled since a serious knee injury in 2007.

A subsequent re-occurrence of the injury ruled him out of the entire 2008 Super 14 season although the former Australian under-21 player did return to the field for the force in the 2009 campaign.

After leaving the Force, O'Connor has moved to New Zealand where he is currently playing for provincial team Northland in the ITM Cup competition.

But with his return to Super rugby O'Connor is aiming for even higher honours.

"I think anyone who makes it to Super rugby level has aspirations of taking the next step and I haven't lost any of that ambition to one day make the Wallabies," he said.

"The only way to do that is to be playing regular footy at that level and I've now got the chance to do that with NSW."

O'Connor will play the remainder of the New Zealand provincial season before joining his Waratahs teammates.

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