The Western Force have ended talks with James O'Connor about a possible return to the club for 2014 with the player instead heading to Europe.
However, the troubled back, who is reportedly heading to England, has not ruled out the possibility of heading back to the Force after the short-term stint abroad ends.
“I contacted Western Force today to inform them of my short term move overseas, but my management and I are continuing discussions with the Force about a longer-term partnership," O'Connor said.
“Both (coach) Michael Foley and (chief executive) Mark Sinderberry have been great supporters of mine and I greatly appreciate it."
O'Connor, who has been ditched by the Wallabies and sacked by the Melbourne Rebels in the past five months, believes a spell overseas will help boost his chances of an international recall.
"I want to give myself every opportunity to get back into the Wallabies side and to represent Australia in the 2015 World Cup," he said.
“I have decided that I will be moving overseas next month as part of a short-term playing contract. I am in final discussions with several clubs and will announce the new partnership in coming days.
“I believe the move, for a few months, will be beneficial for me to develop in a different environment and help me be the best rugby player and person that I can be.
“It will also ensure that I continue playing professional rugby immediately and not wait until early in the New Year to resume competition."
Force CEO Sinderberry said the player headed abroad with his best wishes.
“We have been informed by James directly that he intends to continue his playing career in Europe for the time being, The Western Force and RugbyWA wish him well in these endeavours,” Sinderberry said.
“The Western Force has laid strong foundations of standards and values – particularly around earning respect – and our discussions with James included on- and off-field programs that we believed could assist him in becoming the player he aspires to be and to develop himself as a person.
“James has made the decision that is right for him at this point in his playing career and the club remains open to recommencing these discussions again in the future if James wishes to return to Australian rugby.”
The West Australian revealed six months ago that the Force were talking with O’Connor and putting together an offer to tempt him back to Perth.
Sindrberry and Force coach Michael Foley had lengthy discussions with O’Connor and his manager David Shand but made it quite clear that they would only be interested in re-signing him on their strict terms.
O’Connor left the Force under a cloud two years ago when months of contract talks broke down amid claim and counter-claim about his demands.
He said he would be going to the Rebels and made the infamous comment that then move would help his “brand”.
During his time at the Force, the club that kick-started his career, O’Connor upset some senior Force players with his attitude.
More recently, he was dumped from the Wallabies squad after the Australian Federal Police escorted him from Perth international terminal after being barred from taking a 5am Air Asia flight to Bali last month because he was drunk.
He was travelling with his girlfriend when an argument began over ticket arrangements. He admitted drinking but denied he was drunk and took a later flight.
He was stood down from the Rugby Championship by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.
O'Connor also came under fire in June after being photographed with Wallabies teammate Kurtley Beale at a Melbourne fast food outlet at 4am, just four days before the second Test against the British and Irish Lions.
O’Connor addressed Force senior players before the airport incident and they said at the time that they would still welcome him back but only if he lifted his off-field behaviour.
Foley was keen to help O’Connor and discussed his future with McKenzie.
Before O’Connor made his final decision Foley said there was a lot of work to be done.
“There’s been no shortage of discussion around what is expected. We want to see him be successful,” he said last week.
“He has to stand up and understand that he’s got to do the right thing.
McKenzie also kept in touch with O’Connor.
“I’m interested in improving him as a person so I’m happy to help in that process,” he said.