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Could James O'Connor Fit In At An Irish Province?

Could James O'Connor Fit In At An Irish Province?
By Jeremy Roberts Updated

Controversial Australian utility back James O'Connor has confirmed that he is set for a switch to European rugby in a bid to get his international rugby career back track.

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

O'Connor, still only 23, has experienced a string of discipline issues in the past, the most recent of which came last month when he was refused entry to a flight to Bali at Perth airport, resulting in his Australian Rugby Union contract being cancelled.

The Guardian posted an official statement from O'Connor which read "I believe the move, for a few months, will be beneficial for me to develop in a different environment and help me 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", adding that his ultimate goal was to earn a place in Australian's World Cup squad in 2015.

London Irish are believed to currently be the front runners to sign the attacking O'Connor but could we still see him appear in an Irish provincial jersey? In 2008 he was approached by then Irish defense coach Les Kiss about a possible change in international allegiances, however his Irish heritage proved too distant to justify signing.

Wherever O'Connor goes, it will almost certainly see him accept a reduction in pay as he looks to rebuild his career and establish an attitude off the field that better represents his notable talents on it.

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