James O'Connor set to decide on London Irish contract

Last Updated: 28/10/13 11:47am

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Australia star James O'Connor is expected to decide whether to join London Irish by Tuesday.

The controversial back has been linked with a move to the Madejski since O'Connor decided to quit Australia and try to earn a short-term contract in Europe.

"Any team in England or in France would be lucky to have him."
Brian Smith

The 23-year-old, who can play at centre, wing, full-back or fly-half, was escorted from Perth airport for drunken behaviour and has since attracted interest from several European clubs.

The Exiles' Director of Rugby Brian Smith is hoping that O'Connor will reject any other interest and join Irish.

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

"Any team in England or in France would be lucky to have him. I would imagine in the next 24 or 48 hours he will play his cards and all will be revealed."


O'Connor was dropped from the Australia squad after their series defeat to the British & Irish Lions and he is hoping some eye-catching displays in Europe will impress new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

He said in a statement last week: "I have decided that I will be moving overseas next month as part of a short-term playing contract.

"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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