Arrest warrant issued for Digby Ioane
June 24, 2013
Wallabies winger Digby Ioane failed to appear at a court date to answer an assault charge © Getty Images
The warrant was issued earlier today after he failed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court to face a charge of unlawful assault stemming from an incident in a Prahran pub on March 9. Ioane wasn't charged at the time, but he was stood down by Queensland Reds for one week after details emerged that he and his older brother were reportedly involved in a scuffle over a phone at Mount Erica Hotel. Victorian police formally charged Ioane on summons on May 17, when the 27-year-old was on tour in South Africa with the Reds.
Australian Rugby Union officials have acted quickly in an attempt to resolve the issue. "Since being made aware through media reports, ARU has worked expeditiously with Digby Ioane and Victorian Police to attend to this matter," the ARU said in a statement. "Digby will report to Victorian Police and will be issued with a revised court date."
The issuing of the warrant appeared to jeopardise Ioane's chances of featuring in Saturday night's clash against the Lions at the Etihad Stadium but he has subsequently been ruled out of that game and the remainder of the series with a shoulder injury he suffered in last weekend's 23-21 defeat in Brisbane.
George Smith is proud to be back in the Wallabies' fold
The end to the Wallabies' day marked a stark contrast to the moment earlier when veteran flanker George Smith fronted the media to declare his fitness for a fairytale return to the squad. Smith starred as a 20-year-old in the 2001 Lions tour here in 2001, playing a key role as Australia fought back from 1-0 down to claim an historic first series win, and the 110-Test great will become the first player in the professional era to face the Lions in two separate series if he is selected ahead of Liam Gill or Michael Hooper in Melbourne or Sydney.
Brumbies coach Jake White dismissed speculation last week that Smith would be fit to play the second Test, but the world-class No.7 insisted he was ready to go. "There's no confusion about my fitness or my knee injury or what not because it's not existent anymore," Smith said.
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen