Super Rugby
Reds ban Digby Ioane for Western Force clash
March 11, 2013

Queensland Reds have stood down Digby Ioane from the Super Rugby match against Western Force on Saturday, after his involvement in an alleged assault at a Melbourne pub.

"Discussions between the QRU and Digby were held on Monday morning and all parties have agreed that Digby failed to demonstrate the necessary behaviours expected of a senior player within the Reds squad," Queensland Rugby Union officials said in a statement.

Victorian police are currently investigating an alleged assault involving Ioane's older brother and another patron at a Prahran hotel on Saturday afternoon, a day after the Reds beat the Melbourne Rebels 23-13 at AAMI Park. Ioane, 27, has reportedly been questioned about the incident.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said the decision to drop the Wallabies winger for the match related to expectations of his behaviour as a senior player and not to the police investigation.

"As an organisation and as a team we're not happy about some of these things that are going on and the headlines ... that goes around with that," McKenzie said.

"We're taking a stand at this point in time that this type of behaviour is not what we're about. I've spent a lot of time speaking to Digby this morning about his role and responsibility in the team, and he gets that. We had a long discussion around where he sits as a role model, and out of that discussion we have to send a message. This isn't just a message to Digby but to all our players about what we think is acceptable and what isn't. It's irrelevant of what's going in terms to the police investigation. It's how we want to be seen in the rugby community."

McKenzie must now field two new wingers against the Force, with fellow Wallabies flyer Dom Shipperley sidelined by a back injury.

Ioane was free to train with the Reds on Monday afternoon, and he will be available to return against the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday week.


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