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Melbourne Rebels to cut O’Connor after 2013 season

July 7, 2013

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — James O’Connor’s weekend has gone from bad to worse, with the Melbourne Rebels announcing the morning after Australia’s heavy defeat to the British and Irish Lions that they won’t renew his contract beyond the 2013 Super Rugby season.

O’Connor was playing at flyhalf in the 41-16 defeat on Saturday night, giving the Lions their first series win since 1997. On Sunday morning, his Super Rugby club chief executive Rob Clarke released a statement saying the club was “entering the next phase of development” after three years in the competition and wouldn’t be renewing O’Connor’s contract.

O’Connor came in for heavy criticism after publication of a photograph of him and Australia and Rebels teammate Kurtley Beale with a Lions fan at a fast food outlet at 4 a.m. on the Wednesday before the second test.

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