3 Oct 2013

O'Connor's demise set to cost him at least $500,000

6:06 pm on 3 October 2013

The fall from grace of Wallabies player James O'Connor is expected to cost him at least half a million dollars.

O'Connor has been released from his Australian rugby union contract a year early because of disciplinary problems and won't be considered Australia's November tour to Europe.

If he plays for the Walalbies next year he'll only receive match payments.

The heavy penalties come after an ARU investigation into O'Connor's behaviour when he was escorted from Perth airport by police over a dispute with airline staff three weeks ago.

He was initially stood down from Wallabies' final two Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa and Argentina.

But Australian rugby union chief executive Bill Pulver says the penalty is the culmination of numerous incidents.

Pulver hopes the 23 year old O'Connor stays in Australia and plays Super rugby next year but says O'Connor needs to make some changes with respect to his off-field responsibilities.

O'Connor, who was cut from the Melbourne Rebels after this year's Super Rugby season, is in negotiations for a return to the Western Force.

If he signs, dependent on his behaviour and form, he will be considered for Wallabies next year, but only receive match payments of $15,000 per Test, with no ARU top up on his contract.