Supersonic wing Monty Ioane re-signs with Benetton
The Australian-born speedster is the nephew of former Wallabies wing Digby Ioane and after representing the Queensland Reds’ academy, as well as Stade Francais and New Zealand provincial sides Tasman and Bay of Plenty, the 27-year-old relocated to Italy in late 2017.
After residing in Treviso for three years, Ioane made his test debut for the national Italian side in last year’s Autumn Nations Cup. The outside back played a further eight games for the Azzurri throughout 2021, starting on the wing in all five of Italy’s Six Nations matches and scoring tries against England and Wales.
Ioane also came within an inch of scoring a try against the All Blacks in November – but referee Karl Dickson jumped the gun and pulled play back for an NZ knock-on.
Since his arrival in Treviso, Ioane has notched up 80 appearances for Benetton and picked up 30 tries.
The supersonic winger was also named in the PRO14 ‘Dream Team’ for two straight seasons, 2018-19 and 2019-20. To date, Ioane is the only Benetton representative to accomplish the feat.
Benetton manager Antonio Pavanell emphasised how important it was to retain Ioane for the coming seasons, especially with a number of key players departing the club after being headhunted by larger European teams.
“We are finally delighted to be able to announce the long-awaited extension of Monty Ioane,” said Pavanell. “This is an end-of-year gift that we make to our fans and partners who with passion and efforts do not cease to show their support despite the difficulties of the current period.
“As you have surely learned recently, several high-level clubs had come forward with the concrete intention of taking the player away from Treviso. The success of the negotiation was certainly determined both by the corporate project presented to Monty and by his desire to stay. In fact, his attachment to the shirt and the gratitude he showed towards Benetton Rugby meant that everything could be concluded in the best possible way.”
The likes of Paolo Garbisi and Tomaso Allan, who have both worn the No 10 shirt for the national side in recent seasons, departed Benetton ahead of the current season, with the former heading to Montpellier and the latter linking up with Harlequins.
'My dad called me before my first game and told me Digby called and was crying'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 31, 2021
Ioane himself said that he couldn’t be happier to remain in the north of Italy.
“The decision to stay with Benetton Rugby was an easy one,” he said. “The whole club has been taking care of me and my family ever since we arrived, we couldn’t be happier than that.
“I really feel privileged to have the possibility of being able to give back something to the club that gave me a chance and that has helped me to grow more over the years.”
Benetton are due to play Italian rivals Zebre on January 2, provided that Covid-19 doesn’t continue to disrupt the URC as it did over the Christmas weekend.
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