D-Day for Exile O'Connor

Mon, 28 Oct 2013 06:09
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James O'Connor is expected to make a decision on his future in the "next 24 or 48 hours", according to London Irish coach Brian Smith.

James O'Connor is expected to make a decision on his future in the "next 24 or 48 hours", according to London Irish coach Brian Smith.

O'Connor has been linked with a move to the English Premiership side after the Australian Rugby Union terminated his contract following a string of embarrassing off-field incidents earlier this month, culminating with the talented 23-year-old being escorted from Perth airport for drunken behaviour.

Now Smith, himself a former Australia and Ireland playmaker, expects to discover within the next few days if O'Connor, who can play at flyhalf, centre, wing or fullback, will be joining Irish.

"He's a world-class player, he's a terrific kid and I'm sure that will all be unveiled at the front end of this week," Smith said on Sunday

"Any team in England or in France would be lucky to have him," the former England backs coach added.

"I would imagine in the next 24 or 48 hours he will play his cards and all will be revealed."

O'Connor believes a spell in Europe could help him get back into the Australia squad and revive his Test career ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

"I have decided that I will be moving overseas next month as part of a short-term playing contract," O'Connor said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"I am in final discussions with several clubs and will announce the new partnership in coming days.

"I believe the move, for a few months, will be beneficial for me to develop in a different environment and help me to be the best rugby player and person that I can be.

"It will also ensure that I continue playing professional rugby immediately and not wait until early in the new year to resume competition.

"I want to give myself every opportunity to get back into the Wallabies side and to represent Australia in the 2015 Rugby World Cup."


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