Australia

Ioane axed after 'pub incident'

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 06:18
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These expectations have been reinforced to all members
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Queensland Rugby Union on Monday dropped Wallaby wing Digby Ioane from this coming weekend's Super Rugby match against Western Force following an incident at a pub in Melbourne.

Police in Victoria state said they were investigating an alleged assault of a 30-year-old man, who sustained a minor leg injury on Saturday night - with Ioane interviewed.

The incident followed an altercation between Ioane's older brother and another patron in a hotel.

According to the Australian Associated Press the pub incident took place the same day Reds teammate Quade Cooper posted a picture of him, Ioane, James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale as well as Hawthorn star Lance Franklin and other bare-chested men in gangster-style poses in a spa on a Melbourne rooftop.

"It is believed a 30-year-old Brisbane man approached a 30-year-old Prahran man and the pair then became involved in a verbal altercation," a Victoria Police spokesperson told Fairfax.

"It is alleged the Brisbane man has then assaulted the Prahran man, who sustained a minor leg injury.

"The 30-year-old Brisbane man and a 27-year-old Brisbane man are currently assisting police with inquiries.

"As the investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

The QRU acted swiftly and had a meeting with the player Monday.

In a statement they said both parties agreed that Ioane had "failed to demonstrate the necessary behaviour expected of a senior player" within the Reds squad.

"Digby has taken responsibility for his actions and is cognisant of the high standards and organisational values expected of each member of the Reds squad both on and off the field," the statement read.

"These expectations have also been reinforced to all members in the Reds squad on Monday afternoon."

The QRU made clear the decision was related directly to the expectations on Ioane as a senior team member, and not as an outcome of the police enquiries.

"Digby will continue to train with the Reds and will be available for selection next week in the team's round six Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Brisbane," the QRU said.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie admitted some of Ioane's previous indiscretions caught up with him and contributed to the decision to stand the player down.

"There's been bits of things over the years and there's always a cumulative impact," McKenzie admitted when asked by the Australian media whether the 27-year-old had been guilty of other misdeeds.

It's subtle things and we know how we want to be perceived.

"Our culture is very important to us.

"Sport is about culture as much as anything.

"There's been lots of things over time, and lots of players, and we've got to this point in time that enough's enough.

"We've taken a stand ... and this type of stuff has to stop."

The alleged weekend incident happened the night after the Reds beat the Rebels in Melbourne.

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