James O'Connor agrees early release from Australia contract after latest indiscretion saw him thrown out of Perth Airport

O'Connor was refused onto a flight just hours after the Wallabies one-point victory over Argentina

Australia back James O'Connor has accepted an early release from the final year of his ARU contract.

The decision follows his latest off-field indiscretion, which saw him thrown out of a Perth airport just hours after playing in the Wallabies' one-point victory over Argentina last month.

O'Connor is yet to secure a Super Rugby contract for next season after he was let go by the Melbourne Rebels at the end of the 2013 campaign.

"The Australian Rugby Union and I have mutually agreed to put the past behind us and move forward from today," O'Connor said in a statement.

"As a professional, I am focused in developing as a person and as an athlete and intend to do everything possible to put myself in the best environment to do that.

"I want to apologise for any issues that I have caused and I want express my respect for my teammates, the Wallabies and the jumper. There is nothing more important and rewarding to me than representing my country.

"I want to say again that I do appreciate the impact that some of my actions have had on my team and the sport in general. I recognise that given my actions and the circumstances it is best for the team and myself to go in different directions in the short term. I remain focused on earning my place back with the Wallabies and will be looking for the right opportunity to do this."

O'Connor had been in discussions with former club Western Force about a return but they have now encouraged him to take a break from rugby to consider his future.

"Our conversations with James and his management regarding a possible return to the Force have been ongoing," said chief executive Mark Sinderberry said

"These conversations have been thorough and honest, and have included Michael Foley, Matt Hodgson and players. These discussions have been about both on and off field matters that we believe can assist James to become the player he aspires to be and to develop himself as a person.

"Since the ARU's decision, we've reiterated our position to James, including the non-negotiable standards and values - particularly around earning respect - that must be upheld by everyone in the team and at this club.

"However, at this point we believe it's in James' best interests to take time and reflect on what's important to him and what he really wants.

"If that is being a part of this club and making a positive contribution to our club culture, then we'd be open to the prospect of continuing those discussions. Similarly, if he believes he would be better suited by taking some time away from Australian rugby, then we'd wish him nothing but the best with those endeavours."

O'Connor must play for a Super Rugby franchise if he is to be eligible to add to his 43 Wallabies caps.

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea