Brisbane - Wayward star James O'Connor has been released from the final year of
his contract with the Reds to rejoin French club Toulon, the
Reds said on Tuesday.
The former Wallabies star had joined the Reds
on a two-year deal ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season, but according
to a club statement, O'Connor has been dealing with a number of
"I came to the Reds with the intention of
playing my best football in my home state and looking for a fresh start,
but I've struggled with some personal matters," O'Connor said in a Reds
"The Reds are a wonderful team and organisation and
I'm very disappointed I wasn't able to achieve my full potential for my
"I wish the Reds all the best for 2016 and beyond."
Rugby Union chief executive Jim Carmichael said it was in the best
interests of both parties that O'Connor part ways with the Reds.
paves the way for the versatile 25-year-old back to return to Toulon,
where he spent six months before joining the Reds earlier this year.
last June said O'Connor had agreed with billionaire Toulon owner Mourad
Boudjellal to return to the French club before he had even left for
"James has experienced a difficult time personally
since returning to Australia and we've been aware of that for some
time," Carmichael said.
"Therefore, James will return to Europe where he feels the spotlight on him is less intense.
our discussions, we've agreed that should James return to Australia to
play rugby in the future, the Reds will have the first and last rights
to secure his services."
O'Connor played just 13 games in a
injury-ravaged year with the Reds in a failed bid to make the Wallabies'
World Cup squad where he was overlooked by coach Michael Cheika in the
initial tournament squad.