O'Connor's future up in the air
ESPN Staff
December 28, 2013
Where will James O'Connor be playing next season? © Getty Images

London Irish boss Brian Smith is adamant his side still have a shout of keeping star utility back James O'Connor at the club.

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

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