Saturday 24 March 2018

Injury-hit Ioane's woes deepen after brush with law

Digby Ioane
Digby Ioane
Conor George

Conor George

DIGBY IOANE is not a fugitive from justice ... although he has been ruled out of the remaining two Tests. An arrest warrant was issued for the Wallaby winger when he failed to turn up to his court hearing to answer an assault charge dating back to March.

His non-appearance was called a "miscommunication" issue between the player and his agents. Ioane claimed ignorance of the court date after news broke that the warrant had been issued.

Officials from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) contacted the police in Victoria, who advised against Ioane presenting himself to them as "the paperwork had not been handed down by the court" by close of business yesterday and nothing could be done.

Ioane was apparently totally ignorant about his date in court when the Wallaby management questioned him.

The winger will have to present himself to the court before the end of the week when a new trial date for his assault charge will be issued.

The charge dates back to an incident in March after a Super 15 game between Ioane's Queensland Reds side and the Melbourne Rebels. Ioane, Pat McCabe and Berrick Barnes have all been ruled out of Saturday's second Test against the Lions. Ioane suffered damage to his right shoulder and will also require further follow-up scans, with surgery a possibility.

McCabe re-injured his neck in a similar manner to a problem first sustained on last year's spring tour and will be seeing specialists in Sydney. Barnes suffered concussion.

There was some surprise that Christian Leali'ifano has been cleared to play for Australia in Saturday's second Test against the Lions despite lasting less than 60 seconds of Saturday's opening game. The Australian centre suffered a concussion after being levelled by Jonathan Davies in a bone-crunching tackle.

The Wallabies insist the centre's management has also followed the IRB guidelines governing concussion and that he has made good progress.

Outside centre Adam Ashley-Cooper, who underwent scans on his shoulder after the Test in Brisbane, is also improving with medical staff confident he will be available in time for the game following further rehabilitation of the injury.

Irish Independent

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