NZ Herald - Brett Phibbs

Broken thumb sidelines Ioane

MEDICS have found Digby Ioane's sore thumb was more serious than first thought after injuring it in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup.

Wallaby wing Digby Ioane will have surgery to repair his broken right thumb and hopes to return in the playoffs if his team qualifies.

The left wing played the final 30 minutes of his side's win against Italy on Sunday with the injury, but it was not until yesterday that scans revealed the problem.

The pain in his thumb increased after the match and concerned Wallaby medicos decided the injury needed further assessment. The news was not favourable and Ioane is expected to be unavailable for about three weeks.

The Wallabies have backup with Drew Mitchell expected to add to his 55 caps in Saturday's match against Ireland at Eden Park.

Mitchell dislocated his ankle and broke his leg in the same horrific incident in the Waratahs' grudge match against the Reds late in April. He made a remarkable return to action in a few games in August and was picked for the squad. In recent seasons, he has been the form Wallaby wing.


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