1 Feb 2014

Rugby bad boy heading home

2:27 pm on 1 February 2014

London Irish have confirmed that James O'Connor will leave them at the end of this season after completing a six-month contract with the English Premiership club.

Irish say the Australia star has indicated a wish to play in the southern hemisphere's 2015 Super Rugby competition, building towards the World Cup later that year.

O'Connor, who joined Irish earlier this season, has also been strongly linked with a move to big-spending Heineken Cup holders Toulon, although the French heavyweights recently secured Wales international fullback Leigh Halfpenny's services from next season on a deal reportedly worth about $NZ1.4 million annually.

O'Connor, 23, moved to Irish after a series of off-field issues culminated in him falling out of favour with Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

He was subsequently released from his Australian Rugby Union contract and he does not have a deal with them for 2014.

O'Connor did not feature on Australia's European tour last November.