Ioane reported to have signed for Stade Francais
May 2, 2013
Digby Ioane - in conflict with the Reds © Getty Images
Queensland Reds winger Digby Ioane has signed a two-year deal with Stade Francais according to reports on French radio station RMC.
The station said Ioane will join Stade Francais after a dispute with the Reds' administration over an unpaid third-party deal. The club denies he is owed any cash and countered that the player's off-field behaviour has caused the conflict.
"I have written to him three times legally," said Reds boss Jim Carmichael. "Digby Ioane is not owed money by Queensland Rugby."
Ioane's future has been subject of speculation for the last week after reports he had taken issue with Queensland Reds management. Reds' director of coaching Ewen McKenzie saying "there's some journalists out there who like writing speculative pieces without much substance so I will give it that much credence", but the player himself subsequently confirmed he wanted to leave at the end of this season - a year before the end of his three-season deal.
The saga then took another twist when Queensland Rugby Union officials said they wanted to question Ioane and his management after suggestions the Wallabies winger had been shopped around in contravention of his contract.
Greg Growden reported for ESPN scrum that "franchise officials have been concerned for some time … [and] that explains why the Reds weren't too impressed when Ioane began seeking additional payments".
And News Limited's Rugby Gold reported that Reds officials had been considering for "several months" whether to release Ioane to release contract money to make a bid for Wallabies utility James O'Connor.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies