Ioane sets his sights on Grand Slam tour

Reds centre Digby Ioane has set his sights on recovering from shoulder reconstruction surgery in time to be considered for the Wallabies’ end of year Grand Slam rugby tour of Europe in October-November.

Ioane went in today for an operation to repair his troublesome shoulder, which normally has a recovery period of up to six months.

Initially downcast on hearing the news, Ioane quickly bounced back after speaking at length to Reds medical staff and deciding to set himself a goal of being ready to play in four months.

“My injury obviously happened for a reason so I have to accept that and I’ll focus on trying to come back in time for the Grand Slam. That’s my major goal – if they’ll pick me.

“Latho (Chris Latham) did it in four months, so that’s going to be my goal.”

Former Reds and Wallaby fullback Latham had a shoulder reconstruction after injuring himself in the second last game of the Reds’ 2008 Super Rugby season and was back in action with new club Worcester in just over four months.

Reds Coach Phil Mooney was pleased that the 23-year old was staying positive.

“Digby was pretty downbeat when the decision was made but I’m pleased he’s turned that around. And knowing his work ethic I’d back him to give himself every chance of achieving his goal.”

Mooney said Ioane hurt his shoulder against the Lions on April 18 but played on until he aggravated it against the Brumbies a fortnight later.

“When it didn’t improve we sought specialist advice and, after consultation, we decided the best course for Digby was to have the operation done as soon as possible,” Mooney said.

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