Digby to confirm French move - reports
April 25, 2013
Digby Ioane says he has no choice but to leave the Queensland Reds © Getty Images
Digby Ioane is poised to sign for French side Stade Francais or their Top 14 rivals Toulouse within days, The Australian reports.
But the Wallabies winger will not be joined in France by Test team-mate Tatafu Polota-Nau, who has rejected a lucrative offer from Toulouse to remain in Australia. Polota-Nau told The Australian on Thursday night that he had been in discussions with Toulouse, but had decided to remain at the Waratahs, saying "I've still got some goals I want to accomplish. I've got my eyes on the World Cup".
Ioane's future has been subject of speculation all week after reports he had taken issue with Queensland Reds management. The Reds moved to dismiss the report, with 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 on Friday 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.
Russell Barwick and Greg Growden discuss the big issues in Australian rugby
The Monday Maul turns its attention to drunken nights out, a blunt-talking coach, hidden agendas and crooked feeds
As if beating the Springboks and Pumas on their home turf is not onerous enough Australia, it also involves a road trip from hell writes Greg Growden
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for