Super 15 franchise releases the second national player in as many weeks.
The Melbourne Rebels have announced they would not be extending controversial Wallaby Kurtley Beale’s contract beyond the 2013 season, following the earlier dumping of friend James O’Connor.
The Rebels said Beale would now leave the club following the Rebels’ 38-37 Super Rugby win over the Otago Highlanders in the final match of the season in Melbourne on Friday.
Beale becomes the second Wallaby to be cut from the Rebels following the Melbourne club’s decision last weekend not to renew O’Connor’s contract into next season.
Both courted controversy in Australia’s recent series loss against the British and Irish Lions after being photographed at 4:00am in a fast-food restaurant just days out from the second Test.
It capped a troubled season for Beale, 24, who was sent home in disgrace from the Rebels’ tour of South Africa in March after an alcohol-fuelled clash in which he punched captain Gareth Delve, spurring him to check into rehab.
“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.
“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 continue his off-field programme in Sydney and the Rebels believe that he should remain there supported by his family network.”
The dynamic back has been linked in reports to a return to the NSW Waratahs, from where he joined the Rebels last year.
Sacked Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill said this week off-field issues with players including Beale were a “major factor” in his dumping for ex-Munster chief Tony McGahan on Tuesday.