Rebels send O'Connor packing

Sun, 07 Jul 2013 09:13
Large jameso connorrebelstraining Large james o connor aus v b i l2 Large james o connor   robbie dea Large james o connor face Large james o connor rebels v bru

The Melbourne Rebels have confirmed that they will not be offering Wallaby flyhalf James O'Connor a further contract beyond the 2013 season.
 

The Melbourne Rebels have confirmed that they will not be offering Wallaby flyhalf James O'Connor a further contract beyond the 2013 season.

O'Connor, who has received mixed reviews as flyhalf over Quade Cooper in the Wallabies' failed series against the British and Irish Lions, is now expected to move to another Australian Super Rugby team next season.

Melbourne Rebels chief executive Rob Clarke "complimented" O'Connor for his contribution to the side over the last two years, which he said was "unfortunately limited due to a string of injuries".

"I would like to acknowledge the role James has played in helping the Rebels gain traction in the very competitive sporting landscape in Melbourne," Clarke said in a statement, a day after the Lions thrashed the Wallabies 41-16 in the deciding Sydney test.

"After three years in the Super 15 competition, the club is entering the next phase of development.

"I am very confident in our player recruitment strategies which continue to identify some excellent emerging talent. This group will provide the platform for continual improvement, both on and off the field."

Wallabies' coach Robbie Deans' decision to pick O'Connor as rookie flyhalf over incumbent Cooper hinged on how an overhauled Australian backline performed with O'Connor calling the shots at No.10 But the move backfired in the 2-1 series loss to the Lions.

O'Connor was one of Australia's better players in the third Test loss, scoring their only try after a superb jinking run.

However, it was apparent from the outset that the brash 22-year-old's elusive ball-running game was better suited on the right wing or inside centre, as he struggled to take the right options as the team's chief playmaker.

With a possible change in coach influencing his own immediate Test future, O'Connor has played down his desire to wear the gold No.10 jersey after the painful loss to the Lions.

"I've said I want to play 10 (flyhalf) but I just want to be part of the team," O'Connor said. "I want to be on that field.

"I'll play wherever I can. I would like to nut down a position, maybe 10, maybe somewhere else.

"I can look myself in the mirror and say I gave my best shot for Australia."

The decision to jettison O'Connor followed reports of continued ill-discipline off the field including staying out until 4am midweek before the second Melbourne Test with Rebels teammate Kurtley Beale, and showing a lack of remorse afterwards.

AFP

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Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9