O'Connor's future up in the air
December 28, 2013
Where will James O'Connor be playing next season? © Getty Images
Reports on Monday claimed O'Connor had agreed to join Toulon ahead of next season, a move which would see him link-up with fellow exiled Wallabies Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau. But Smith, who signed O'Connor on a season-long deal earlier this season, claims O'Connor is yet to pen a contract with Toulon.
"James hasn't signed for anyone," Smith told getreading. "He's got an offer from us, but I don't know what French offers he's got."
While O'Connor has been linked with both Toulon and an extended stay with London Irish, he is also pondering moving back to Australia. He was unceremoniously axed from the Australian set-up following the Rugby Championship after a string of off-field incidents but he still has a chance of forcing his way into the squad ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
To do this, however, O'Connor would need to play a full season of Super Rugby - a move to Toulon could hinder this as he would need to be back in Australia in time for the 2015 southern hemisphere season.
"I obviously have some decisions to make in terms of the World Cup," O'Connor said. "I have been told I have to have been playing in [Super Rugby] for a season (to be selected for the Wallabies). That complicates things a bit. But I'm loving my time here and the players have been great to me."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall