Wallabies star James O’Connor’s teammates thought he’d DIED when he had a seizure after ‘abusing everything’: Rugby dangerous boy comes clear on drug and drink hell that noticed him jailed
- James O’Connor has opened up on the second team-mates thought he had died
- The Wallabies star has a protracted historical past of drink and medicines issues in his career
- In 2017 he sought skilled assist and has returned to the nationwide group
- A seizure and a stint in a Paris jail cell acted as an enormous get up name for the star
James O’Connor has opened up on his drink and medicines ordeal, revealing that his terrified team-mates thought he had lost his life after years of self-abuse led to a seizure.
O’Connor has endured a rollercoaster journey all through his rugby union career. Regarded because the Wallabies golden boy after making his debut at 18, he was exiled from the squad after a drunken incident at Perth Airport in 2013 and spent two nights in a Parisian jail cell in 2017 – an ordeal he pinpoints as ‘rock-bottom’.
After looking for skilled assist, the 31-year-old has turned a nook and made a sensational comeback to the nationwide group in 2019 and represented his nation within the final World Cup.
James O’Connor has opened up on the second team-mates thought he had died
The 31-year-old has endured a rollercoaster journey via his career, and has battled drink and drug issues
Speaking on the Offload podcast, O’Connor says his physique was ‘damaged’ after years of drink and medicines as he described his bodily and psychological state previous to his stint with males’s assist organisation ‘Saviour World’ – who’ve additionally labored with Danny Cipriani and Kyle Sinkler.
‘It was life altering for me,’ he mentioned. ‘I used to be in a darkish place, I used to be taking every little thing from prescription meds to medicine to alcohol, and attempting to get on one thing daily after I was in France.
‘When I met him I used to be like “f*** I need to sort my life out, can you help me?” That’s how we bought in contact and it was undoubtedly a journey. I credit score the work I did with him to getting again to Australia and undoubtedly kickstarting the place I’m now.
It was throughout his stint with Toulon that the Australian suffered a seizure on the group bus
‘I used to be simply weak as a result of my physique was simply damaged. I wasn’t coaching, I wasn’t consuming proper, wasn’t sleeping proper, mentally I wasn’t in a great place in any respect. I do not understand how I used to be enjoying skilled footy.’
O’Connor suffered a seizure on a bus journey house whereas enjoying for Toulon and mentioned that the toll of drink and prescribed drugs, in addition to a head knock suffered throughout the sport, was the reason for the ordeal.
A second seizure additional down the road was the wake-up name he wanted to get his life again on monitor, though team-mate Dylan Armitage feared the worst after the primary incident.
‘I used to be in a fairly darkish place, I used to be doing every little thing. I used to be simply enjoying round, burning the candle at each ends,’ he mentioned.
O’Connor sought skilled assist at Sale, the place his weight reached a mammoth 100 kgs
‘I used to be nonetheless enjoying rugby however I used to be out usually and lots, wasn’t sleeping a lot as a result of we have been on street journeys and flying right here, flying to this nation, happening right here and I had a bit of head knock after we performed a sport and on the group bus we simply had a… it was a great win away so we simply bought into it and I ended up having a seizure on the bus and it was hectic.
‘I can not bear in mind so it wasn’t that hectic for me but it surely was fairly hectic after. I feel individuals have been traumatised, I bear in mind Dylan Armitage saying “I thought you died” it was f***ed so yeah it was fairly hectic and that was the primary get up name after I was like “OK I need to rein it in a bit” it was only a bit at that stage after which it occurred yet another time and I used to be like “OK, f***, alright”.
‘It occurred once more, yeah. It wasn’t a head knock this time, they did the complete examinations and every little thing, examined me for epilepsy, however actually I used to be simply burnt out.
He has since turned a nook and made his return to the nationwide aspect three years in the past
‘The first one I feel was a combination of every little thing – consuming lots, taking lots and the top knock and the second time I used to be simply so fatigued, burning the candle at each ends and it simply occurred.’
O’Connor made headlines in 2017 when he ended up in a Parisian jail cell with team-mate Ali Williams – who was allegedly caught shopping for cocaine on an evening out.
‘It was tough, it was f***ing terrifying as a result of nobody spoke English in there and my French was respectable, his [Williams’s] was very poor at that stage and it was simply uncooked. First evening, somebody s**t on their palms and rubbed it everywhere in the wall, yeah ruthless. That was one other rock-bottom expertise.’
After rediscovering prime kind with Sale, O’Connor returned to Australia and signed a two-year take care of Queensland Reds and Rugby Australia. The deal included strict behaviour clauses.