Flying winger Ioane told to stay grounded

Nov 16, 2017 - 7:45 PM High-flying Rieko Ioane has been advised to keep his feet on the ground as his rugby prowess begins to gather global attention.

The slippery All Blacks left winger has been nominated in two categories at the World Rugby awards.

Twenty-year-old Ioane is the hottest of favourites to be named breakthrough player of the year but will also create plenty of debate with his inclusion as an overall world player of the year nominee.

Nevertheless, being placed alongside team-mate Beauden Barrett, Australian Israel Folau and British and Irish Lions pair Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell came as a shock.

"It's pretty surprising. But I'm pretty honoured and pretty humbled to be nominated, especially with the world-class players who were nominated," said Ioane, who emerged as a star performer in sevens over the last two seasons.

"I was just trying to get some decent game time under my belt this year.

"It's been the first proper year where it's been full concentration on 15s so pretty happy with how everything went."

Ioane's low-key approach will please All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who admires the outrageous game-breaking talent possessed by the strapping outside back.

"He gets the ball and everyone holds their breath because he only needs half a yard and he's quick," said Hansen, who was then asked if there's any area in need of improvement.

"Work rate. Keep his feet firmly on the floor would be good too."

Ioane has been a handful for all defences since his surprise inclusion for the first Test against the Lions.

He has notched nine tries in 11 Tests and there will be few who bet against him matching the prolific try-scoring strike rate of the man he has usurped this season, Julian Savea.

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!