Melbourne Court Issues Warrant for Arrest of Wallaby Ioane

A Melbourne judicial officer issued an arrest warrant today for Australia rugby player Digby Ioane, five days before the Wallabies face the British and Irish Lions in the second match of their series.

Jenni Coady, assistant director of information services at Melbourne Magistrates Court, said Ioane didn’t appear in court today and a warrant for his arrest was issued by a magistrate. He was due to face a charge of unlawful assault following an alleged March 9 incident in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran.

The Australian Rugby Union said in an e-mailed statement it was only made aware of the issue late this afternoon.

“Since being made aware through media reports, the ARU has worked expeditiously with Digby Ioane and Victorian Police to attend to this matter,” the Sydney-based governing body said. “Digby will report to Victorian Police and will be issued with a revised court date.”

Ioane, 27, trained with the Wallabies squad in Melbourne today ahead of the team’s June 29 match against the Lions in the same city. Australia trails 1-0 in the three-match contest following a 23-21 defeat in Brisbane two days ago. Ioane injured his shoulder in that match and his prospects of being selected for second game will be determined in the early part of this week, the Wallabies said yesterday.

Ioane sat out the Reds’ March 16 Super Rugby match against the Western Force following the March 9 incident, which occurred a day after the Reds had played the Melbourne Rebels.

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