Former Wallaby James O'Connor was charged with cocaine possession after he was arrested in Paris on Saturday. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
SYDNEY, Australia – Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says drug-tainted James O'Connor, who was charged with cocaine possession by French police, is a "good lad" who needs help.

The 26-year-old was busted early on Saturday along with former All Black Ali Williams, after allegedly being found with 2.4 grams (0.08 ounces) of the drug outside a nightclub near the Champs Elysees in Paris.

"It’s disappointing isn’t it, for him,” he told Fox Sports on Tuesday, adding that O'Connor was a decent person.

"If he wasn’t he would be away doing other stuff, he wouldn’t be in rugby, in a team sport, having the camaraderie around of being in that.

"There is a good lad in there and I think we just have to leave the footy out of it for a minute and let the guy get the assistance he needs, to get back personally first of all, and then we’ll see about footy.”

O'Connor's French club Toulon has temporarily suspended the former Australian international, who made his Wallabies debut at the age of 18 and has gone on to win 44 caps.

His run-in with Paris police is not his first off-field digression.

He was banned from boarding a plane in Perth after his last Test, against Argentina in 2013, later apologising for the drunken incident which also saw him removed from the airport.

AFP