Ioane wants to play SuperRugby for Reds at 13

Reds and Wallabies winger Digby Ioane wants to nail down the number 13 jersey after he impressed playing at centre in the Reds trial match against the Crusaders.


Ioane made a successful return from shoulder surgery on the weekend and he now wants to show that he can be Australia’s new Stirling Mortlock at outside centre.


His impressive display at centre has only excited Ioane more about playing in the 13 jersey.


Twenty-five year old Ioane has been watching video tapes of former Wallabies captain Mortlock playing in the Brumbies’ 2000 Super 12 final loss to the Crusaders.


“He was around 24 and I couldn’t believe the work-rate and him breaking lines and making all these tackles,” Ioane told AAP.


“It was one of the best games I’ve seen him play.”


“He ripped it. It was like he was fighting off spiders, people were just falling off him.


“You see something like that and you want to do that and improve.”


Both of Ioane’s coaches Ewen McKenzie and Robbie Deans have used him at wing and outside centre and Reds coach McKenzie says that he would like to give Ioane game time in both positions in a flexible Reds backline in 2011.


Last season league convert Will Chambers made a name for himself at No.13 but also handled his role at inside centre against the Crusaders in Cairns well.


Ioane says he is happy to play anywhere McKenzie wants him to play but if he has a preference it would be to play at 13.


“I really don’t mind, I just want to play,” he said. “(But) 13 is a spot where I’d like to have a go and learn more, and play with more skills.


“It’s exciting to be back playing with your mates rather than sitting at home being frustrated.”


Ioane missed much of last year due to his shoulder injury but that injury also gave him time to chronic knee problem through an altered training regime.


“This year the staff has been a lot smarter, and I have to be smart and look after it,” he said, adding he had been told to put a stop to his “secret” training sessions.


“I’ll just save it for the game, for the main event.”

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