London Irish confirm signing of O'Connor
October 29, 2013
Last orders for O'Connor
An exile with the exiles © Getty Images
London Irish today confirmed one of rugby's worst-kept secrets with the announcement they have signed the disgraced James O'Connor for the remainder of the season. he is likely to make his debut at home to Northampton this weekend.
With only Western Force in Australia remotely interested in O'Connor and after being dumped from the national squad, he had little choice but to head abroad to continue playing this season and presumably to take a substantial pay-cut in the process.
"James is a world-class player and a terrific kid and it is fantastic to have him at London Irish," said director of rugby, Brian Smith. "He'll bring a huge amount of experience to our group and will fit in well to our style of play. He is fit and ready to play so the coaching group will get him up to date on everything and hopefully he'll be ready to go this weekend."
O'Connor said he had spoken to clubs in France and Japan before concluding "the best way forward for my development was to move to England. Given that I've left my support network back in Australia, London Irish offered me an environment that I felt comfortable with.
"In England and Wales they play a very high-pressured, territory based game. I thoroughly believe I can improve elements of my game by playing in the Aviva Premiership."
James O'Connor concedes he has made 'lots of mistakes'
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