Lay-off helps Digby with priorities - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lay-off helps Digby with priorities

06/10/2009 10:06:10 AM Comments (0)

Tackle-busting back Digby Ioane says his rehabilitation from a shoulder reconstruction allowed him to sort out his priorities and No.1 is playing for the Wallabies.

Queenslander Ioane was in breakthrough form in this year's Super 14 before injuring himself in May, ruling out an almost certain call-up to the Australian side for the June Test matches and Tri-Nations series.

But the 24-year-old says the lay-off helped him sort out his future with the Reds and the advice of Wallabies coach Robbie Deans kept him out of the lucrative Japanese game.

"You have a break from footy and I also had to think about whether I was going to stay so it would have been a lot harder if I'd played Wallabies, I wouldn't be able to handle that stuff," Ioane told AAP on Monday as he joined camp Wallaby in Sydney.

"I was out (injured) so my priority was trying to get my career right.

"Now, it's trying to get back in the Wallabies squad and hopefully my shoulder pulls up 100 per cent."

Ioane was virtually on the plane to Japan with former Reds teammate Hugh McMeniman before taking on board Deans' wisdom and putting his faith in the embattled Queensland franchise.

"He's probably one of the main reasons I stayed because I was going to go overseas," Ioane said.

"He said you'll regret things and you only get one crack at it and I took that advice and I don't want to be sitting at home at like 50 telling my kids what if I did this.

"My choice was based on I want to play at the highest level I can possibly play."

The road back has been tough for Ioane but he believes he is ahead of schedule and is hopeful of being named in Australia's 35-man squad on Friday for the grand slam tour.

"It's hard. It's boring. It's been 20 weeks now and you get bored but you've just got to do it because it pays off at the end," he said.

Ioane has a Samoan background and, while his family was not directly affected by last week's tsunami disaster, he still feels for the people of his ancestral home and is one of a number of Wallabies working on a charity response.

"I haven't got any family over there but everyone's related I guess and it's sad to see stuff like that happen," he said.

"The only thing I can do is pray for them."

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