Australian back james O’CONNOR is expected to be announced as a London Irish player tomorrow morning.
The 23-year-old, who can play outhalf, wing or fullback, confirmed late last week he would be playing in the Aviva Premiership. O’Connor posted an Instagram picture accompanied by a the comment, “London bound for a few months to play some rugby, can’t wait… see you soon Aus! Thanks for all the support guys – appreciated #NewAdventure.”
London Irish have yet to formally announce O’Connor’s signing but have released details of ‘a significant player signing’ at 10am on Tuesday.
If, as expected, O’Connor signs with the Exiles, he will link up with Irish players Tomás O’Leary, Ian Humphreys, Jamie Hagan, Fergus Mulchrone and Eamonn Sheridan. Humphreys is the club’s starting outhalf but may face stiff competition for his jersey from the young Wallaby.
O’Connor poses with an air stewardess on his flight to London. Credit: James O’Connor
O’Connor has played 44 Tests for Australia and scored 223 points, including 14 tries. He started all three Tests against the British & Irish Lions at outhalf but new Australia coach Ewen McKenzie shifted him out to the wing for The Rugby Championship.
He made a Super Rugby name for himself with Western Force before joining up with Melbourne Rebels. Drunken behaviour at Perth Airport was the latest in a string of off-field incidents that led to the Australian Rugby Union cancelling his playing contract.
Earlier this month O’Connor told the Sydney Daily Telegraph, “I want to apologise for any issues that I have caused and I want express my respect for my teammates, the Wallabies, and the jumper. There is nothing more important and rewarding to me than representing my country.”