More sports

Wallabies bad boy O'Connor lands at London Irish

LONDON (AP) — Utility back James O'Connor, unwanted by the Wallabies, was contracted by London Irish on Tuesday to the end of the season.

O'Connor is expected to make his debut for the English Premiership club on Sunday against Northampton. O'Connor, capped 44 times by the Wallabies since he was 18 and their flyhalf in the series loss to the British and Irish Lions in July, had his contract terminated this month by an Australian Rugby Union tired of his off-field troubles going back more than two years.

Hours after a 14-13 win over Argentina in Perth last month, he was reportedly escorted from the Perth airport terminal by police after arguing with airline staff. The Wallabies suspended him, and the ARU axed him. Super Rugby's Western Force ended negotiations when O'Connor wanted to move overseas.

"Having decided that I needed a change from both a personal and playing point of view, I spoke to clubs in Japan and France and concluded that the best way forward for my development was to move to England," the 23-year-old O'Connor said.

"Given that I've left my support network back in Australia, London Irish offered me an environment that I felt comfortable with." The Wallabies are keen for O'Connor to prove himself again, and the player has said he wants to regain the Australia jersey.

Related Headlines

  • England coach: Burgess could be 'real asset'

    Sam Burgess' future switch to rugby union was welcomed by England coach Stuart Lancaster, who said the rugby league star will not be rushed into the 2015 World Cup squad. 

  • Dan Carter

    Carter has unfinished business at Rugby World Cup

    Dan Carter has unfinished business at the Rugby World Cup. A deep desire to lead the All Blacks to victory in a final has driven the superstar flyhalf to extend his career to ... 

  • Williams on brink of unique achievement

    Sonny Bill Williams can fill the gaping hole in his impressive sporting resume on Saturday by leading New Zealand to a repeat triumph over great rival Australia in the Rugby ... 

  • All Blacks, Wallabies, Wales secure autumn wins

    New Zealand was forced to dig deep before beating England 30-22 to maintain its 100 percent record in 2013 while Australia's end-of-year resurgence continued with a 32-15 win ...