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Ioane quits Reds with a year to go on his contract

Winger Digby Ioane will leave the Reds at the end of the season

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Article Published: Tuesday 23 April 2013|

Wallabies and Reds winger Digby Ioane says that he had "no choice" but to quit the Reds following a long-running dispute over third-party payments.

Ioane has made the decision to quit the Reds a year before his three year deal ends with the rugby union but says he will continue to give his all for the Queensland franchise this season.

The Reds winger told the Reds about his decision in writing through his manager on April the 8th and said that he would not be taking up the third-year option in his contract and would be leaving the club instead.

"It's all a business matter, that's why I'm leaving. I had no choice," Ioane told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I've been thinking about it for the last six or seven months. It started last year . . . Sadly, it has come to the stage where I have to look somewhere else so I can look after myself."

"I believe in loyalty but there's times when you can't trust anyone."

It is understood that Ioane's relationship with the Queensland Rugby Union broke down after two separate contracting negotiations which according to Ioane's camp the Reds did not fulfill. The QRU however dispute the allegations.

Reds chief executive Jim Carmichael is furious about the matter and says that Ioane's only choice is to go overseas if he wants out of his contract.

"I have written to him three times legally, Digby Ioane is not owed money by Queensland Rugby," Carmichael said.

"I don't know how many times I have to say that. I don't care what he says, I don't care what his manager says. "

"If he disputes that, then you have got (the courts). Take it and challenge it."

Ioane signed a two-year contract with the Australian Rugby Union in 2010 and a three year deal with the Queensland Rugby Union.

The Reds maintain that Ioane's contract with them stipulates that if he does not renew with the ARU the only way he can get out of the third year with the Reds is by playing overseas.

Ioane says that his decision was not aimed at hurting the Queensland Rugby Union.

"What's going on business-wise, I leave that to my manager," he said.

"I'm the type of person who would do anything for the Reds. They've been so good to me. I'll never regret anything.

"I've enjoyed my footy. We've won a title and I'm hoping to win it again for the Reds and especially for (head coach Ewen) McKenzie because it's his last year as well."

The Reds appeared to defuse the reports about Ioane's departure on Monday when McKenzie said that he does not deal with contracts but as far as hew knew Ioane's depature was "speculative".

Ioane said however that he had spoken to McKenzie on Monday before the Reds' press conference, and confirmed his intentions.

said he spoke to on Monday morning, before the

"I actually spoke to 'Link' (McKenzie) front-on, and I told him that it was going to be my last year," Ioane said.

"You've got to tell your coaches what is going to happen . . . You don't want the Reds to struggle again to look for another winger."

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