Digby Ioane will head to Paris at the end of the year. Photo: Getty Images
Wallabies winger Digby Ioane will leave the Queensland Reds and Australian rugby later this year after signing a massive two-year contract with French glamour club Stade Francais.
It’s understood Ioane will reap almost $2.5 million but the deal will severely endanger his chances of playing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Jim Carmichael on Thursday night confirmed French radio reports the world-class back would link with the Parisian club at the end of the year.
Ioane is regarded among the best wingers in the game and his loss is a major blow to both the Wallabies and the Reds.
Habana . . . held
The Blues survived a late fightback from the Stormers to hold on for an 18-17 Super Rugby win at North Harbour Stadium in Albany on Friday.
It was a case of close but no cigar for the visitors, after two Jean de Villiers tries in the second-half gave his team a glimmer of hope of snatching another upset win on the road.
However after 20 phases into injury time, a wayward last-gasp drop-goal attempt from replacement pivot Elton Jantjies handed the Blues back possession and they didn’t need a second invitation to boot the ball into touch.
Chiefs hat-trick hero Gareth Anscombe scores a try at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Photo: Planet Rugby
Chiefs full-back Gareth Anscombe bagged a hat-trick to help his team to a thrilling 39-33 Super Rugby win over the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday.
The defending champions outscored the hosts six tries to five, but were made to work overtime to secure the win after the Rebels clawed their way back after trailing 24-7 at half-time.
Tries: Higginbotham, Pyle 2, Phipps, Beale
Cons: O’Connor 4
Tries: Anscombe 3, Aki, Cane, Retallick
Cons: Anscombe 3
The Rebels have selected troubled Wallaby Kurtley Beale on the bench for Friday’s clash with Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, at AAMI Park.
Beale returns to the Rebels side for the first time since breaking his hand against the Waratahs.
The playmaker addressed the players and coaching staff on Tuesday, before taking to the training paddock later that afternoon.
Rebels coach Damien Hill said the decision was one that needed consultation, with the players having a considerable impact on the decision.
Now that the dust has settled over in the south, we thought it was only right to hand out praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round 11. Here’s the Planet Rugby XV for week 11 of Super Rugby.
Steyn, Speight made the top picks for week 11 in Super Rugby. Photo: Planet Rugby
15 Israel Folau (Waratahs): Playing his first game in South Africa, anyone in the capital who didn’t know the rugby league convert’s name certainly won’t forget it after this performance. Injected plenty of pace into the Waratahs back-line, looked dangerous every time he touched the ball and scored a superb try as a result.
14 Henry Speight (Brumbies): Undoubtedly the in-form wing in Australia. Speight bagged two tries for his efforts against the Force, as he continues to turn heads every time he touches the ball out wide.
Henry Speight won’t dwell on selection for the Wallabies. Photo: Planet Rugby
In-form Brumbies wing Henry Speight will miss out on representing Australia and facing the British and Irish Lions by just a few months.
Based on his Super Rugby form, the Fijian-born speedster would have been an automatic choice in Wallaby coach Robbie Deans’ squad to tackle the Lions in June.
However, the current leading try-scorer (seven) in this season’s Super Rugby tournament has to wait until the end of October for the IRB to grant permission for Speight to wear the gold jersey – ruling him out of the Lions’ tour Down Under by just four months.
Speight goes in for one of his tries. Photo: Planet Rugby
Brumbies winger Henry Speight scored two tries to help his side regain the lead in the Super Rugby overall standings on Saturday with a convincing 41-7 victory over the Western Force at Canberra Stadium.
Fijian outside centre Tevita Kuridrani also touched down in the first-half in a totally one-sided clash.
Jake White’s troops underlined their title credentials as the Brumbies outscored their hapless visitors six tries to one.