James O'Connor has spent the night in a Paris lock-up.
James O'Connor has spent the night in a Paris lock-up. DAVE HUNT

O'Connor arrested by Paris police

RUGBY UNION: Former Wallaby James O'Connor has been arrested for allegedly buying cocaine and spent Saturday night in a Paris jail cell.

O'Connor and former All Black Ali Williams were arrested by policemen from the Anti-Crime Brigade after they had allegedly been spotted giving 200 Euros to two drug dealers outside a Paris nightclub at 3am.

O'Connor's manager David Shand said he was "aware of the situation" when contacted on Saturday night.

"I have been in touch with all relevant parties but am not prepared to make further comment," Shand said.

According to police the two men were arrested while in the act of buying cocaine from two suspected drug dealers. Plain clothes officers saw Williams in a car with the two suspects while O'Connor was outside and appeared to be acting as a lookout, police said.

When they were challenged, Williams attempted to get rid of the cocaine by throwing it away, added the police source who said the two players had clearly been drinking.

O'Connor, who plays for Toulon, had spoken earlier this month of his changed ways after his Wallabies contract was torn up three years ago and he moved to France - with a stint at Queensland in between.

"I believe I have matured," O'Connor told the Daily Telegraph a fortnight ago. "I admit I've made mistakes in the past.

"No one taught me how to cope, how to act in this environment. I came straight out of school, I wasn't the best student, just wanting to play rugby.

"I wasn't planning to be anyone's role model.

"Sometimes things don't turn out how you want it to but you mature with age.

"I feel like I'm back to the stage where I want to be the best player on the field again. I lost that for a while there, I didn't think I had but now I know I did."

O'Connor, 26, is in the midst of negotiating a new deal with his club Toulon but was also considering a move back to Australia in an attempt to play in the 2019 World Cup.


James O'Connor in action for Toulon
James O'Connor in action for Toulon Dan Mullan

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal said "no decision would be taken" on O'Connor until he had spoken to the player.

"I won't speak to him on Saturday. It does seem as though there has been wrongdoing," Boudjellal said.

"But even when you kill someone you still have a hearing first. That is how it must be."

Williams, 35, who plays for Racing 92, has been suspended indefinitely.

The French National Rugby League (LNR), which oversees the Top 14, said they were ready to take disciplinary action if necessary.

"These facts, if confirmed, would constitute a serious breach of the standards expected from professional rugby players, the ethics of our sport and would undermine its image," the LNR said in a statement.

"After consultation with the president of the FFR (French Rugby Federation), the LNR president will take the necessary steps to ensure that the matter is brought before the disciplinary bodies to give this case the consequences it deserves."

News Corp Australia

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