SYDNEY – Former Australian golden boy James O'Connor plans to battle his way back into the Wallabies squad for next year's World Cup after facing his “darkness” at a meditation and sensory-deprivation retreat in Iceland.
The wayward star earned the last of his 44 caps in 2013, at the age of just 23, when his Australian Rugby Union contract was torn up after he was prevented from boarding a flight to Bali for being drunk.
His chequered past also includes being arrested and fined in Paris last year during a cocaine bust while playing for Toulon, before a move to Sale Sharks in the English Premiership.
The versatile winger has been working to return from ankle surgery in recent months and spent time in an Icelandic centre which uses sensory deprivation, heat exhaustion and deep states of meditation.
He said it had helped him face “myself and my darkness”.