I'm leaving – Ioane

Date published: April 23 2013

Digby Ioane has confirmed that he'll be leaving the Reds, despite Queensland denying a report that he was on his way out.

Wallabies winger Digby Ioane has confirmed that he'll be leaving the Reds, despite Queensland denying a report that he was on his way out.

Ioane is contracted to the Reds until the end of the 2014 season, however a long-running dispute over third-party payments has forced the 27-year-old to quit a year before the end of his deal.

“It's all a business matter, that's why I'm leaving. I had no choice,” said Ioane. “I've been thinking about it for the last six or seven months. It started last year . . . Sadly, it has come to the stage where I have to look somewhere else so I can look after myself.

“I believe in loyalty but there's times when you can't trust anyone.”

It's been reported that two separate contracting negotiations broke down between Ioane and the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), with the latter failing to follow through with third-party payments.

These allegations, however, has been denied by the QRU.

“I have written to him three times legally, Digby Ioane is not owed money by Queensland Rugby,” said Reds chief executive, Jim Carmichael.

“I don't know how many times I have to say that. I don't care what he says, I don't care what his manager says. If he disputes that, then you have got the courts. Take it and challenge it.”

Whilst four of Australia's other Super Rugby franchises could do with the 34-Test capped winger's experience, Ioane's contract stipulates that if he does not renew with the ARU the only way he can get out of his third year in Queensland is by heading overseas.

France and Japan were suggested as likely destinations.

“What's going on business-wise, I leave that to my manager,” he said. “I'm the type of person who would do anything for the Reds. They've been so good to me. I'll never regret anything.

“I've enjoyed my footy. We've won a title and I'm hoping to win it again for the Reds and especially for head coach Ewen McKenzie because it's his last year as well.”

Ioane also revealed that he confirmed his intentions to McKenzie before the Reds' press conference which saw the coaching director and captain James Horwill dismiss reports of the Wallaby wing's departure.

“I actually spoke to 'Link' McKenzie front-on, and I told him that it was going to be my last year,” Ioane said.

“You've got to tell your coaches what is going to happen . . . You don't want the Reds to struggle again to look for another winger.”