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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Wallabies star James O'Connor thrown out of Perth Airport

The winger was allegedly intoxicated when he was not allowed to board a flight.

Aussie coach Ewan McKenize will be disappointed with JOC's latest gaffe.
Aussie coach Ewan McKenize will be disappointed with JOC's latest gaffe.
Image: AP Photo/Mal Fairclough

AUSTRALIAN WINGER JAMES O’Connor was escorted from Perth Airport on Sunday morning having been refused entry to his scheduled flight.

The incident came just hours after the Wallabies’ win over Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday. The 23-year-old was allegedly drunk when he became involved in an argument over seating arrangements on a flight to Bali.

With no game this weekend, Australia’s players had been given a rest week and it is understood that O’Connor was jetting off for a break with his girlfriend.

“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),” an Australian Federal Police spokesman said.

“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.”

This latest high-profile incident puts O’Connor’s Wallaby future in doubt, with a two-week tour of South Africa and Argentina commencing on Monday.

Currently without a club contract, the talented back got himself in trouble during the recent Lions tour when he was photographed in a Hungry Jacks fast food restaurant at 4 am, just days before the second Test.

It has been heavily rumoured that O’Connor is set to sign a contract with the Western Force for next season, but this latest drama may make that deal less certain. The Melbourne Rebels released O’Connor in July, with a negative influence on his teammates cited as one of the main reasons.

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Murray Kinsella

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