James O'Connor: Sale Sharks sign Toulon & Australia back

James O'Connor
James O'Connor's last cap for Australia was in 2013

Premiership side Sale Sharks have signed utility back James O'Connor from Toulon on a three-year contract.

The 26-year-old has won 44 caps for Australia and has been playing Top 14 rugby in France since 2015.

O'Connor was arrested in Paris, and subsequently suspended by his club in February for drug offences but has since returned to playing.

"He is a world-class, versatile back that will add a lot to our game," said Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond.

"He is the type of player that, alongside a group of incredibly talented home grown lads, will help us a club to push on and achieve the vision of our owners Simon Orange and Ged Mason."

O'Connor has previously played in the Premiership for London Irish and also has Super Rugby experience in the southern hemisphere with Western Force, Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds.

Although O'Connor can play a number of positions, BBC Sport understands Sale have signed him to play primarily at fly-half next season.

"I have no doubt Steve Diamond and the coaching staff at Sale will help O'Connor channel his talent to help him and the club achieve something really special, and I know he is looking forward to getting started with the lads," said co-owner Orange.

"We have put down good foundations and we are excited to see James O'Connor add that extra bit of sparkle we have been looking for."

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