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Ioane commits to Australian rugby

Digby Ioane has ended speculation about his future by agreeing a three-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union.

The 26-year-old winger has turned his back on a lucrative offer from Japanese club Kubota to re-sign with the ARU and Queensland Reds.

It is another boost for the Wallabies and coach Robbie Deans heading into 2012, with Ioane becoming the 21st player to re-sign with the ARU this year.

The signing brings to an end months of uncertainty surrounding Ioane's future, after it was reported earlier this year he had verbally agreed to take up an offer to play alongside former Wallabies team-mate Hugh McMeniman in Japan.

Ioane then denied it, saying he would make up his mind after the World Cup.

The rumours dragged on through the World Cup and into the end-of-season tour of Great Britain before Ioane agreed to stay in Australia.

Ioane has played 21 Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut against Wales in 2007 and would have won more caps but for a number of injuries.

He played a leading role in Queensland's Super 15 title in 2011, as well as helping the Wallabies to their first Tri Nations title in a decade and a third-place finish at the recent Rugby World Cup.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie was always confident Ioane would stay in Australia, saying: "He's one of our most popular figures and he has the ability to change games with his enigmatic style of play.

"Digby is a guy who gets a lot of touches every game. He always has the ball in his hands and he has a ridiculous number of game involvements. He gives us a real point of difference."

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