British and Irish Lions 2013: Arrest warrant issued for Australia's Digby Ioane


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The Independent Online

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Australia rugby winger Digby Ioane after his failure to appear in a Melbourne court on an assault charge.

Ioane, who played for the Wallabies in their 23-21 loss to the British and Irish Lions in the first test at Brisbane on Saturday, was scheduled to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today but did not answer his call. A magistrate immediately issued a warrant for the arrest of the 27-year-old, who has played 35 tests for Australia.

The legal crisis now facing Ioane adds to the turmoil around the Wallabies team which must win the second test at Melbourne on Saturday to level the three-test series.

Australia are already beset by injuries to midfielders Christian Lealiifano, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Pat McCabe.

The incident over which Ioane was charged occurred on March 9, the day after the Queensland Reds played the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match in Melbourne.

Ioane wasn't charged at the time by Melbourne police but he was charged on summons on March 17, when he was in South Africa with the Reds team.

He was reportedly with his Wallaby teammates at a Melbourne hotel today when the case was called.