Digby Anthony Natu Ioane

  • 35Caps
  • 818Wallaby Number
  • 36Age
PositionLeft Winger/ Outside Centre
Date Of Birth13 July 1985
Place Of BirthWellington, New Zealand
SchoolSt John's Regional College, Melbourne & St. Joseph's Christian Brother's College, Gregory Terrace
Other ClubsSunnybank, Stade Francais (FRA), Honda Heat (JAP), Panasonic Wild Knights (JAP)
ProvinceWestern Force
Other ProvinceQLD & Crusaders (NZ)
Debut Test Match2007 Wallabies v Wales, 2nd Test Brisbane
Final Test Match2013 Wallabies v British & Irish Lions, 1st Test Brisbane

Biography

Born in New Zealand but of Samoan heritage, Digby Ioane went on become one of international rugby’s most powerful broken field runners. A barnstorming winger, Ioane was just two years old when his family moved to Melbourne. He was the youngest of nine children and rugby was in his blood given his father Muliagatele Natuitasina represented Samoa against the Maori and his oldest brother played U21s for New Zealand. As a junior he represented Victoria in both rugby union and rugby league.

In 2002 the family relocated to Brisbane where Ioane attended St. Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace and he played in the school’s 1st XV for two years. In turn he won selection for Australian Schools, entered the Reds Academy and represented his country at four aged World Championships.

In 2005, and yet to play a single game of Super Rugby, Ioane was selected by Wallaby coach Eddie Jones in the end-of season Spring Tour squad.

2006 saw Ioane make his Super Rugby debut for the Western Force against the Brumbies and a year later he made his Test debut against Wales in Brisbane. Such was his form in 2011, where he played a pivotal role in the Reds’ Super Rugby title win, that Ioane was among the first picked in Robbie Deans’ Rugby World Cup squad. Ioane went on to win 35 Test caps for Australia before he announced at the end of 2013 that he had signed a massive two-year deal understood to be worth $1.2 million a season with French Top 14 club Stade Francais.

Highlights

2002

Represented Australian School Boys against Tongan Schools and New Zealand Schools.

2003

Represented Australian School Boys against Tongan Schools, Fijian Schools and New Zealand Schools.

2004

Selected in the Australian teams for both the inaugural IRB U19s World Championship in South Africa and the third-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in Scotland.

2005

Selected in the Australian squad for the fourth-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in Argentina. Ioane debuted for the Australian team in the non-capped tour match against the French Barbarians in Bordeaux.

2006

Selected in the Australian squad for the fifth-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in France.

2007

Ioane won his first Test cap when picked on the right wing in the 31-0, 2nd Test victory over Wales in Brisbane. In that match he became the 86th Wallaby to score a try on debut.

2008

Ioane suffered a disrupted season to due to a broken hand and two suspensions however he did earn three Test caps on the end-of-season Spring Tour.

2009

A shoulder reconstruction saw Ioane miss all of the domestic and Tri Nations internationals however he returned to play in the 4th Test against New Zealand before he won three caps as a starting outside centre on the Spring Tour to Europe.

2010

Ioane played in the opening three Tests of 2010 before a shoulder injury ruled him out for the rest of the year.

2011

Ioane started 10 Tests on the left wing but missed three Rugby World Cup pool games due to a fractured thumb.

2012

He won a career high 13 caps and 11 of those were earned as the starting left winger.

2013

Ioane started the opening Test of the season on the left wing against the touring British & Irish Lions in Brisbane but was ruled out of the rest of the series with a shoulder injury.

Digby Anthony Natu Ioane