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Thread: O'Connor's troubles sign of deeper issues

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    O'Connor's troubles sign of deeper issues

    September 20, 2013

    Andrew Webster

    Chief Sports Writer, The Sydney Morning Herald

    Of course, the easy thing to do is slam O’Connor for another drunken incident; another case of casting the Wallabies jumper in shame.

    But it’s becoming clear to the public what many in rugby circles have known for some time: the fallen flaxen-haired superstar of Australian rugby has some serious issues to address off the field.

    We told you in this space last week that the Western Force would only sign O’Connor on the condition that he admitted to some pretty heavy issues concerning his behaviour, and did something about them.

    Now his future in Australian rugby, let alone at the Force, is murky at best.

    The Melbourne Rebels were criticised in some quarters for pushing Beale and O’Connor out the door earlier this year.

    Some considered the Rebels to be the common denominator in the pair’s loose off-field behaviour, when in reality it was each other, with a bit of Lance ‘‘Buddy’’ Franklin on the side.

    Beale has signed with the Waratahs and it’s considered a wise move because he will be closer to family and friends as he wages his public battle with alcoholism. That was something not lost on those who spotted him on holiday in Bali earlier this month ... drinking alcohol.

    Wallabies players aren’t so much concerned about Beale but O’Connor, who they describe as ‘‘manipulative’’ and ‘‘cunning’’. Their new nickname for ‘‘Brand O’Connor’’ is ‘‘Homebrand’’. As in Woolworths’ range of everyday household products at great value for money.

    There is so much more to this story that cannot be printed, but judgment day is arriving.

    In a story published a month ago, Fairfax Media investigated the depth of despair in Australian rugby about the toxic – there’s that word again – influence of O’Connor, Beale and Cooper.

    Some questioned its timing and motive because it came out on the day of the Wallabies’ opening Bledisloe Test against the All Blacks. It was published then for no other reason than the fact coach Ewen McKenzie represents a new beginning. Because Australian rugby desperately needs it.

    You only need to talk to past, present and recent Wallabies, past, present and recent ARU administrators, and long-suffering supporters of the code to learn how deep the dissatisfaction runs.

    Around the same time, in the lead-up to that Bledisloe Test, O’Connor was at the centre of his own stories, making all the right noises as he often does.

    ‘‘I don’t play rugby to be talked about off the field,’’ he declared.

    I can’t actually recall the last time anyone spoke about what O’Connor did on it.

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    There is so much more to this story that cannot be printed
    wonder what that is

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy View Post
    wonder what that is
    page filler...

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