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O'Connor on the move again?

Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:29
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He has developed a reputation as a troublemaker
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Disgraced Australian back James O'Connor is poised to join French Top 14 side Toulon next season, according to reports in France.

O'Connor, bidding to force his way back into the Australia team after a series of off-pitch misdemeanours, joined London Irish on a one-year contract in October.

A move to reigning European champions Toulon for the versatile 23-year-old was raised by various French media including La Provence newspaper and Var Matin.

According to the latter, Toulon manager Bernard Laporte has confirmed that O'Connor will join the club next season, without divulging the length of contract.

O'Connor moved to English Premiership outfit London Irish after his Australian contract was terminated as a result of numerous incidents.

O'Connor initially stated his intentions to return for the 2015 Super Rugby season and play with the Western Force

If he joins Toulon he will link up with former Wallabies Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell.

A move to Toulon could jeopardise his prospects of playing in the 2015 World Cup as Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has gone on record as saying that any player who wants to be considered must play for an Australian province in 2015.

O'Connor made his Australia debut at the age of 18 in 2008 and has made 44 appearances for his country, featuring at flyhalf, centre, wing and fullback.

The former Western Force and Melbourne Rebels man played against the British and Irish Lions earlier this year, notably scoring a try in Australia's third Test defeat.

However, he has developed a reputation as a troublemaker following several brushes with the authorities in recent years.

He was dropped by Australia in September in the wake of an incident at Perth airport that saw him being escorted from the premises for arguing with airline staff while under the influence of alcohol.

McKenzie subsequently declared that O'Connor would have to "modify [his] behaviour" if he wanted to resurrect his international career.

AFP

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