‘O’Connor needs help’ – Cheika

Date published: March 1 2017

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika feels Toulon utility back James O’Connor needs help after being charged by French police for trying to buy cocaine.

The former Wallaby was caught trying to buy three vials of the drug with former All Black second-row Ali Williams in Paris at the weekend.

Cheika said O’Connor is a decent person and hopes he puts his latest off-field digression behind him.

“It’s disappointing isn’t it, for him,” Cheika told Fox Sports.

“If he wasn’t he would be away doing other stuff, he wouldn’t be in rugby, in a team sport, having the camaraderie around of being in that.

“There is a good lad in there and I think we just have to leave the footy out of it for a minute and let the guy get the assistance he needs, to get back personally first of all, and then we’ll see about footy.”

Toulon have temporarily suspended the 26-year-old and the club’s owner Mourad Boudjellal has said it they probably won’t extend the player’s contract.