Top 14 - Wallaby winger Ioane joins Stade Francais

Wallaby winger Digby Ioane, an almost certain starter for Australia in the upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions, has signed a two-year deal to play for Stade Francais in the French Top 14.

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Digby Ioane of Australia and Stade Francais (PA Sport)

Despite injury hampering his international career, the New Zealand-born 27-year-old has scored 11 tries in 34 tests since his debut against Wales in Brisbane in 2007.

Instantly recognisable for his distinctive hairstyles and much-tattooed torso, Ioane is a potent threat in open play with his powerful high-stepping running style often helping him barge past tacklers.

His own fierce tackling is another attribute and it was his role to replace Quade Cooper in the fly-half slot in defensive situations for Australia.

Local media said his deal with the Paris club was worth in the region of $2.5 million, which persuaded him to leave the Queensland Reds a year before the end of his contract.

"(Digby) has been given an opportunity in France to secure the financial future for himself and his family," Queensland Rugby chief Jim Carmichael said in a news release.

"This was an extremely difficult decision for Digby to make but as the provider for his family, we completely understand his position to pursue a deal overseas."

Ioane played 63 times for the Reds after returning to the province from the Western Force in 2008 and was part of the side the won the 2011 Super Rugby title.

Stade Francais said Ioane would be joining the club on October 21 at the latest, ruling him out of Australia's end of season tour of Europe.

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