Source: http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,25727051-5002381,00.html Queensland Reds centre Digby Ioane wins Players player at awards night
July 03, 2009 Dynamic centre Digby Ioane has been awarded the Queensland Reds players' player award in recognition of his standout performance during the Super 14 season.
Ioane amassed 253 votes, despite missing the last two games of the season through injury, to win the 2009 Pilecki Medal ahead of flanker Hugh McMeniman (231) and early-season captain Berrick Barnes (122).
The 23-year-old started the season on the wing but proved a game-breaker closer to the action at 13 after coach Phil Mooney made the switch.
Ioane was considered a certain selection for Australia until a shoulder reconstruction forced a premature end to his season.
The Pilecki Medal, named in honour of Queensland prop Stan Pilecki, was announced at Thursday night's Reds Gala in Brisbane, where Ioane also received the Reds' hardest trainer award.
Prop Laurie Weeks, 23, was named Reds rookie of the year, his second piece of silverware for the same honour after picking up the gong at the Super 14 Awards.
Weeks made his debut off the bench behind Dayna Edwards in round one against the Bulls in South Africa and played every game of the year, starting in all but two of the 13 matches.
Reds coach Mooney said it was no surprise that Ioane featured heavily at the end-of-season awards night.
“Digby's success on the field is a product of the amount of hard work he does off it,” Mooney said.
“Digby is a gifted athlete but he also works extremely hard on improving every facet of his game.
“That's why he's successful and why his best years are still ahead of him.”
While McMeniman will head overseas in 2010, Ioane and Barnes are currently finalising their contract negotiations with the Wallabies and Reds.
“We are confident both are on track to re-sign until the next Rugby World Cup,” Mooney said.