O’Connor’s Toulon move confirmed
- 06 Feb 2014
Exiled Wallaby James O’Connor will join Toulon on a one-year deal that will hamper his World Cup hopes.
Club president Mourad Boudjellal announced on Thursday that the 23-year-old has signed on with the French side and will come on board at the end of his season with London Irish.
O’Connor's off-field behaviour led to the cancellation of his ARU contract and rejection by other Australian Super Rugby franchises forced him to look abroad in his rugby career.
Despite playing in England, the utility back had said that he wanted to return to Australia in 2015 to earn selection for the World Cup. But his decision to join Toulon throws his eligibility into question as Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has emphasised that all players need to be playing for an Australian province next year to be in line for World Cup selection.
O’Connor will now link up with his former Wallabies team-mates Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell.
Toulon also feature England’s Delon and Steffon Armitage and Jonny Wilkinson, New Zealand’s David Smith, and South Africa’s Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana, Joe van Niekerk, Juan Smith and Craig Burden; all of whom dominate the starting line-up.
The club has also recently announced another high-profile signing in the form of Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny.
Photo: Rob Munro/Getty Images
The future is here
Handré Pollard, Jesse Kriel and Eben Etzebeth are on the cover of the new issue of SA Rugby magazine.
Kwagga’s a rare breed
Kwagga Smith’s sevens stint has made him a better 15-a-side player, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Junior Boks fullback Warrick Gelant has made the most of his opportunity to start for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.