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Ioane's French transfer confirmed

Thu, 02 May 2013 12:08
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This was an extremely difficult decision
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The Australian Rugby Union confirmed that Wallaby wing Digby Ioane will depart Australia at the end of the season to continue his career overseas.

Capped 34 times for the Wallabies, Ioane missed just two of the 15 Tests played by Australia last season.

It was just the second occasion in his six-year career that his appearance tally had reached double figures, having been previously restricted by injury.

Ioane will have an opportunity to add to his Test caps in June and July, when the highly anticipated British & Irish Lions series kicks off and again later in the year in Rugby Championship and the Wallabies' year-end tour.

Ioane's manager advised the ARU that he will not be seeking an extension to his current national contract and will therefore be leaving his foundation Super Rugby province, the Reds, at the end of the 2013 Super Rugby competition.

Radio reports in France have stated that Ioane will be joining Stade Francais in the Top 14.

This follows a stand-off with the Reds' management in recent weeks and threats of court action.

The 27-year-old has represented Queensland on 63 occasions across six seasons since debuting against the Highlanders in 2008, highlighted by Queensland's memorable Super Rugby title triumph in 2011.

Ioane, who won the 2009 Pilecki Medal for the Reds Players' Player of the Year, has also been recognised at a national level where he has accumulated 34 Wallaby caps and was a member of Australia's 2011 World Cup squad.

Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael confirmed Ioane would honour his remaining commitments with the Reds before leaving the organisation with their best wishes for next year.

"During recent face-to-face discussions with Digby he made it patently clear that he has no interests in playing anywhere in Australia apart from the Reds, but has been given an opportunity in France to secure the financial future for himself and his family," Carmichael said.

"This was an extremely difficult decision for Digby to make but as the provider for his family, we completely understand his position to pursue a deal overseas."

Carmichael said the organisation and Ioane would part ways on very good terms despite the difficulties faced during the last few weeks due to the public interest surrounding his future and the speculation of a 'falling out' with Queensland Rugby.

"Digby reaffirmed in our discussions that he wanted to stay with the Reds and Australian Rugby, but he needed to also consider the financial security of he and his family," Carmichael said.

"As a consequence, he will leave Queensland Rugby at the end of the Super Rugby season with our blessings and thanks for the contributions he has made over many years.

"Digby will always be part of the Reds family, and for now he remains committed to finishing his time with the Reds on a high note and with no regrets as he continues to play an important role in our pursuit of another Super Rugby title."

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