O'Connor to leave London Irish at end of season

Last updated 02:19 02/02/2014
James O'Connor
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RETURNING HOME: James O'Connor is set to end his stint with London Irish at the end of this season, looking to return to Australian rugby for a shot at playing for the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup.

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Australia international James O'Connor will leave London Irish after completing his six-month contract at the end of the season, the English Premiership club announced.

The 23-year-old utility back wants to play in the southern hemisphere's Super Rugby competition next year with an eye on returning to the Australia set-up for the World Cup later in 2015.

"That schedule could only have allowed London Irish to sign another short term deal which doesn't fit with the club's future plans," the English club said in a statement on Friday.

Supremely talented and capable of playing any backline position, O'Connor blotted his copybook with several off-field lapses in recent years that have resulted in him falling from being Australian rugby's pinup boy to a national outcast.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at London Irish and I'm looking forward to the next few months," the former Western Force and Melbourne Rebels back said.

"The club welcomed me in with open arms last year in what was a difficult time and have been brilliant to me during my time so far," added O'Connor, who has won 44 caps.

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