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Airport incident puts O'Connor's future in jepoardy

James O'Connor has no shortage of skills on the field

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Article Published: Wednesday 18 September 2013|

Wallabies star back James O'Connor's future in Australian Rugby has been thrown into serious doubt after he was - allegedly intoxicated - thrown out of Perth Airport.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have confirmed that a 23-year-old man was removed from the airport after he was denied entry on a flight in the early hours of Sunday morning following Australia's victory over Argentina.

The Rugby Championship has a bye this coming weekend so O'Connor was on his way to Bali with his girlfriend on a 5AM flight. He has since admitted to the ARU that he had a heater argument with airline staff over seating arrangements.

"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 AFP spokesman told FoxSports.

"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.”

Witnesses said that O'Connor was seen being escorted from the Perth terminal just hours after the Wallabies beat Argentina at Patersons Stadium.

The ARU have launched an investigation after O'Connor told them that a dispute over seating arrangements at the gate led to O’Connor and his girlfriend being taken back through customs to re-book seats on a later flight.

His position in the Wallabies team will now be under pressure for the tour of South Africa and South America next week.

O'Connor is still without a Super Rugby contract for the 2014 Super Rugby season after he was let go by the Rebels in Melbourne.

He has been linked with a return to his first club the Western Force but this is said to be under strict behavioural standards.

O'Connor vowed to clean up his act so that he could retain his place in the Wallabies team after new coach Ewen McKenzie was appointed after the Lions tour.

If the Force decide not to re-sign O'Connor he may be forced to play outside of Australia or make the move to Rugby League.

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