Monday 26 February 2018

Wallabies star Kurtley Beale won’t be offered new contract by Melbourne Rebels

Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies slips over while kicking for goal during the First Test match between the Australian Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium
Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies slips over while kicking for goal during the First Test match between the Australian Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium

Peter Rutherford

Troubled Wallabies back Kurtley Beale has been told he will not be offered a contract in 2014 by the Melbourne Rebels, who last week ditched James O'Connor as part of an end-of-season clear-out.

Beale has spent significant time on the sidelines due to discipline issues and was stood down by the Rebels for over a month after punching two team mates in a boozy incident on a team bus in South Africa early in the season.

He was stood down again in May for drinking and spent time in a private health clinic, before being photographed at a fast food restaurant with O'Connor early in the morning in the lead-up to the second test against the British and Irish Lions.

The pair also reportedly missed the bus to training during the build-up to the third test in Sydney.

"Whilst Kurtley has been a valuable and popular player for the Rebels over the last two years, it is no secret that he has been facing some significant personal challenges," Rebels Chief Executive Rob Clarke said on the Rebels' website.

"The Rebels have supported him through this process and at all times have made decisions in the best interests of Kurtley's welfare.

"Kurtley will to continue his off-field programme in Sydney and the Rebels believe that he should remain there supported by his family network."

Along with team mate O'Connor, Beale's recruitment after the Rebels' foundation season in 2011 was considered a major coup for the franchise, which has struggled for relevance in a city dominated by rival football code Australian Rules.

The decision to cut Beale loose is part of an end-of-season clear-out by the Rebels, who also sacked head coach Damien Hill a day after dumping O'Connor.

The Rebels also let go captain Gareth Delve as well as Wallabies backs Nick Phipps and Cooper Vuna.

"The Melbourne Rebels have announced some major changes in recent weeks, signifying a strong intention to elevate the performance of the organisation and build a sustainable winning culture both on and off the field," Clarke added.

The Rebels closed out the season with a thrilling 38-37 win over the Highlanders on Friday, but had already been eliminated from playoffs contention.

Reuters

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