The BNZ Crusaders have confirmed that winger Digby Ioane is heading to Christchurch to join the squad in 2017.  BNZ Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach confirmed that Ioane has signed a two year contract, taking him through to the end of the 2018 season with the BNZ Crusaders.

“We finalised the contracting process with Digby this morning, so are thrilled to now be able to announce his signing with the team.  This is an important signing for us and we look forward to welcoming Digby to the Crusaders environment.”

The New Zealand-born, Australian-raised winger already has 86 Super Rugby caps to his name, having played for the Western Force in 2006 and 2007 and then the Queensland Reds from 2008-2013.  Ioane has since played two seasons with Stade Francais in France and is about to have his second season with the Honda Heat in Japan, but says he is excited to be returning to the Super Rugby competition.

“I have had a great time playing in France and Japan, but the opportunity to be part of a New Zealand Super Rugby team is too good to pass up.  I love the intensity and tempo of Super Rugby and the New Zealand teams are leading the charge in that respect at the moment, so I can’t wait to be a part of that. I have a huge respect for the Crusaders, having faced them as the opposition team on a number of occasions, and I am honoured to be linked with such a quality team. I would like to thank my manager Michael Hobbs and Robbie Deans for their support in making this happen,” Ioane said.

2017 BNZ Crusaders Coach Scott Robertson said Ioane was a key signing for the team: “Digby is a massive talent, who we believe still has plenty of top class playing years left in him despite his experience.  He has played 35 tests for the Wallabies and has created some of the most memorable moments in Super Rugby while he was playing there. 

“Digby is in the best condition of his life right now and we are excited about what he can do for this team, with his remarkable ability to create opportunities and score tries.  We also know he will make a huge contribution off the field, with his energy, great character and good humour,” Robertson said.