9 Jul 2013

Wallabies' O'Connor dumped by Rebels

10:11 am on 9 July 2013

Melbourne Rebel officials have confirmed that their dumping of the Wallabies playmaker James O'Connor is designed to keep his national team-mate Kurtley Beale in Melbourne next year.

The Rebels made a strategic call to cut the 23-year-old after a less-than-fruitful two-year stint blighted by injuries and an inability to settle in one position, and O'Connor now faces the prospect of being forced overseas unless his former team the Western Force ask him back to Perth.

Melbourne officials believe Beale will have a better environment in which to overcome his alcohol issues away from his close friend O'Connor.