O'Connor in trouble again
Australia wing James O’Connor was removed from Perth Airport and denied entry to a flight just hours after the Wallabies' narrow victory over Argentina at the weekend, according to reports in the Australian media.
The 23-year-old was allegedly intoxicated as he was escorted through the terminal by federal officials while attempting to travel to Bali with his girlfriend for a vacation.
According to AAP a statement from the Australian Federal Police [AFP] claim O’Connor was not allowed to board the 5am flight because he was intoxicated, but O'Connor denies such claims.
"The AFP can confirm it spoke to a 23-year-old man at Perth International Airport in the early hours of the 15th of September (Sunday)," the statement reads.
"It is alleged the man was intoxicated. The airline the man was booked to travel with made a decision not to allow him to board the aircraft. The AFP subsequently escorted the man from the terminal.”
However, the 44-capped wing admitted to the Australian Rugby Union that he was involved in a heated dispute with airline officials over a seating arrangement on his Air Asia flight.
The ARU have launched an investigation into the disturbance but according to reports, were satisfied with the player’s version of events.
The Wallabies have been given a week off to recover from their opening Rugby Championship fixtures before reconvening next Monday for their tour of South Africa and Argentina.
This is just the latest in a long line of incidents which O’Connor has found himself embroiled in. He was released by the Melbourne Rebels earlier this year after being photographed in a fast food outlet at 4am before a British and Irish Lions Test as well as being disciplined or omitted from the national side for missing team meetings.
O’Connor’s place on the two-week trip is now in jeopardy following another off-field incident and the latest controversy could threaten an impending deal with the Western Force, as he seeks a new employer.