Top 15 of 2017: O'Connor's rollercoaster year

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It's been a big year in rugby on many different fronts, so RUGBY.com.au is taking a look back at the 15 biggest storylines of the year, based on the stories you read and reacted to.

#5: James O'Connor's rollercoaster year

Love him or hate him, Australian rugby fans have followed the exploits of one-time wunderkind James O'Connor closely since he burst onto the professional rugby scene.


He was back on Australian shores playing rugby in February at the Brisbane Tens, and sparking speculation that he was keen on a return to Australia, telling media of his new, more mature, lease on life after a tumultuous part of his career.

That seems unlikely to eventuate, though, after O'Connor was embroiled in a drugs scandal, arrested in Paris along with former All Black Ali Williams less than a month later.

O'Connor was suspended from training or playing with Toulon for a short time and was ultimately never re-signed by the French glamour club.

He was ultimately fined for the incident by police, before finishing his time in France.

The 27-year-old found a new home in the UK, with Premiership side Sale snapping him up on a three-year deal in June.

O'Connor has been in strong form for the English club since linking up with them, after a slow start to the season because of injury.