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London Irish 16:30 Harlequins

London Irish set to unveil Australia star James O'Connor

Last Updated: 29/10/13 10:19am

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James O'Connor: Set to join London Irish

James O'Connor: Set to join London Irish

Sky Bet

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Aviva Premiership outfit London Irish look set to announce the signing of Australia star James O'Connor.

The Exiles have called a press conference for Tuesday morning at which they are expected to unveil the utility back whose star has fallen since the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in the summer.

The Exiles confirmed: "A significant player signing will be announced at the conference."

O'Connor decided to quit Australia and try to earn a short-term contract in Europe.

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

The Exiles' Director of Rugby Brian Smith said: "He's a world-class player, he's a terrific kid. Any team in England or in France would be lucky to have him."


O'Connor was dropped from the Australia squad after their series defeat to the 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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