Ioane set to remain a Red
November 10, 2011
Ioane lit up the 2011 Super Rugby tournament © Getty Images
Wallabies winger Digby Ioane is set to turn his back on Japan's millions and sign a new deal with the Queensland Reds ahead of the 2012 Super Rugby season.
And in a double boost for the Super Rugby champions, coach Ewen McKenzie has declared he has no intention of leaving the team amid reports he could be in contention to replace Wallabies coach Robbie Deans when his contract expires in 2013. If the Reds manage to keep Ioane, then it will be a major coup for the Queensland side as the winger has reportedly been offered a seven-figure sum to journey to the Far East and join an exodus which has already seen the likes of Fourie du Preez and Ma'a Nonu opt to continue their career overseas.
When asked about Ioane's contract, McKenzie admitted he was confident the winger would remain in Queensland. "I'm not stressing about it," McKenzie told AAP. "It's been trickling along for some time but I've been quietly confident the whole time so it's not something I'm worried about.
"I'm sure he and his management team will sort it out eventually."
The 26-year-old enjoyed an impressive World Cup with Australia and has made the cut for their Tests with Wales and the Barbarians before the end of the year. And McKenzie believes his inclusion signifies the 20-cap flyer will remain in Australia.
"It's a good sign," McKenzie added. "The longer there's no news the better it is because in the end it lines up better with our season rather than theirs."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene