Ioane commits to Reds until 2011 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ioane commits to Reds until 2011

01/08/2009 07:03:05 PM Comments (0)

The embattled Queensland Reds have received a welcome boost with Wallabies winger Digby Ioane renewing his contract with the Super 14 franchise until 2011.

Speculation had been rife Ioane was preparing to become the latest high-profile name to leave the Reds after Hugh McMeniman moved to Japan and this week's switch by Wallaby Berrick Barnes to the NSW Waratahs.

But the elusive back was convinced to stay by Reds' general manager Daniel Herbert and veteran hooker Sean Hardman, after both held heart-to-hearts with Ioane.

"I've been really happy at Ballymore and I'm relieved all of the uncertainty has finally been removed and I can focus on getting back into the Wallabies and playing well for the Reds next year," Ioane said.

"These things take time but I'm really pleased it's all turned out the way it has.

"I've enjoyed the last two years at the Reds and I know the next two will be even better."

Herbert, who made over 100 appearances for Queensland, said speculation over Ioane's future had been no surprise.

"After the season Digby has just enjoyed, where he showed fantastic form at both outside centre and wing, it was no surprise that he had plenty of attractive offers to consider, and or that the process took a while to play out," he said.

"But Digby and his family are happy with the result and we're delighted he's aligned his future with the Reds for another two years.

"Digby has the world at his feet; he has blossomed as a player while at the Reds and would have been one of the first players picked by (Wallabies coach Robbie) Deans for the Wallabies had he not been forced into a shoulder reconstruction.

"We also see him as having an important leadership role within the team and he likes the appeal and challenge of that."

Ioane said he had had a number of attractive offers to consider but his decision came down to deciding where he would be happiest - and that was at the Reds.

"I couldn't see myself going anywhere else and starting over again," he said.

"I've played my best footy in Queensland.

"You've got to be happy where you're going to be and that was always going to be Queensland."

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