Lions swansong for Ioane

Qantas Wallaby wing Digby Ioane will hope the summer series with the Lions provides the perfect swansong to his Test career. [more]

Lions swansong for Ioane

Qantas Wallaby wing Digby Ioane will hope the summer series with the Lions provides the perfect swansong to his Test career.

Ioane is a near certain starter for Robbie Deans’ Australian side having established himself as one of the leading widemen in world rugby, with his running lines, work rate and game-breaking abilities set to pose a significant threat to Britain and Ireland’s elite this summer.

But the 27-year-old won’t be hanging around in Australia long after the Lions leave for home, with the Reds confirming today that their star man will be heading to France at the end of the season.

"During recent face-to-face discussions with Digby he made it patently clear that he has no interests in playing anywhere in Australia apart from the Reds, but has been given an opportunity in France to secure the financial future for himself and his family," said Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael.

"This was an extremely difficult decision for Digby to make but as the provider for his family, we completely understand his position to pursue a deal overseas.

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"Digby reaffirmed in our discussions that he wanted to stay with the Reds and Australian Rugby, but he needed to also consider the financial security of he and his family. As a consequence, he will leave Queensland Rugby at the end of the Super Rugby season with our blessings and thanks for the contributions he has made over many years.

"Digby will always be part of the Reds family, and for now he remains committed to finishing his time with the Reds on a high note and with no regrets as he continues to play an important role in our pursuit of another Super Rugby title."

No official announcement has been made on where Ioane, who currently has 34 international caps to his name having made his Test debut in 2008, will play his rugby next term but Parisian giants Stade Francais are thought to be his likely destination.

It is yet unclear whether he will play for the Qantas Wallabies in the Rugby Championship or head to the Top 14 in time for the start of the French season.

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