Digby Ioane has agreed a new three-year deal with the ARU and Reds after being linked with a lucrative move to Japan over the past several months.
The 26-year-old wing broke the news on Twitter after the Wallabies’ 24-18 win over Wales on Saturday, by tweeting: ‘Good win frm the boys. Thank u so much 4 the support, means a lot:) can’t wait 2 go home now’ and ’4 got 2 tell u my friends! Gonna stay in australia for the next 3 years!!! God is good an we r #reds’.
Ioane received a $1m-per-season contract to play for Japanese club Kubota midway through this year’s Super Rugby campaign – a deal similar to the one Stormers centre Jaque Fourie signed earlier this week. Ioane reportedly verbally agreed to the lucrative deal before denying it and saying he’d make up his mind after the World Cup.
The powerful speedster will now remain in Australia until the end of 2014 at least. Reds coach Ewen McKenzie believes Ioane’s new deal is a major coup ahead of his team’s Super Rugby title defence next season.
‘Obviously we’re quite pleased it’s finally over. That ices the cake for us,’ McKenzie told AAP. ‘We’ve retained 25 of the 30 contracted players from last year which is a great position to be in after winning the title and it gives us a good capacity for success again.
‘I think Digby’s had an outstanding year. It was surprising he’d only played 11 Tests before this season due to injuries. He’s a bit of an enigma as a winger. He’s got such a high work-rate, he doesn’t play wing like in an orthodox way which we’re pleased about.
‘He touches the ball more than anyone else apart from the [halves] and he makes a positive impact with every touch.’