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Akira Ioane (born 16 June 1995) is a New Zealand rugby union player. Ioane plays blindside flanker and number 8 for the Auckland rugby union team in the Mitre 10 Cup, for the Blues in the Super Rugby competition and was selected for the All Blacks in 2017, having previously represented New Zealand internationally in Sevens and the Māori All Blacks.

Akira Ioane
Akira Ioane 2015.jpg
Ioane after the Fiji vs Maori All Blacks match
Birth nameAkira Ioane
Date of birth (1995-06-16) 16 June 1995 (age 24)
Place of birthTokyo, Japan[1]
Height1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight113 kg (17 st 11 lb; 249 lb)
SchoolAuckland Grammar School
UniversityUniversity of Auckland
Notable relative(s)Eddie Ioane (father)
Rieko Ioane (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Loose Forward
Current team Auckland / Blues
All Black No. 1166
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015– Auckland 39 (55)
Correct as of 19 November 2018
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015– Blues 50 (65)
Correct as of 19 November 2018
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015
2015–
2017
New Zealand U20
Māori All Blacks
New Zealand
5
4
1
(25)
(20)
(0)
Correct as of 14 November 2017
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps
2014–2016 New Zealand 7s 5
Correct as of 11 August 2016

Early life and familyEdit

Born in Japan on 16 June 1995,[2] Ioane is the older brother of current All Blacks squad member Rieko Ioane. His father Eddie Ioane played for Samoa at the 1991 Rugby World Cup and his mother Sandra Wihongi is a former Black Fern.[3] Of Māori and Samoan descent, Ioane affiliates to the Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāpuhi iwi.[4] He was educated at Auckland Grammar School.[2]

Rugby careerEdit

International RugbyEdit

Ioane joined the New Zealand sevens team in 2014 and made his debut at the 2014 Wellington Sevens.[5] He was a member of the All Blacks Sevens squad at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.[6] Ioane played for the New Zealand Sevens Squad in the 2015 Wellington Sevens. He was awarded as Player of the Finals in New Zealand vs South Africa.[5] Ioane also played for the New Zealand Sevens Squad for Sydney Sevens in 2016 in February. In the finals he was awarded as Player of the Finals whilst his Brother Reiko Ioane got the Player of Tournament against Australia in the Sevens Tournament.[5]

On 17 June 2017, Ioane started for the Māori All Blacks against the touring British and Irish Lions during a 10-32 loss at the Rotorua International Stadium. Ioane was not subbed off and played the full 80 minutes against the Lions.

While on tour with the Māori All Blacks in 2017, Ioane was called up for the All Blacks as injury cover for Blues team-mate Jerome Kaino. Ioane made his international debut for New Zealand on 14 November 2017, replacing the in-form Highlanders flanker Liam Squire off the bench in the 53rd minute of a 28-23 victory over a French XV.

Super RugbyEdit

He earned a Blues contract for 2015 after a stunning performance at the 2014 Wellington Sevens.[7] He replaced Peter Saili who left for a contract in France.[8] On the 2/5/15 whilst playing the Western Force he made a real statement on the game. He made 12 carries for 118 meters including a stunning try from 55m out.

On 7 June 2017, with injury to Jerome Kaino, Ioane started in the Blues' historic 22-16 victory over the British and Irish Lions. Ioane performed very well but was overshadowed by the departing number 8 Steven Luatua.

Ioane has been a regular starter for the Blues since 2017 and is one of the leading try-scorers of the 2018 season. Ioane has scored six tries in the 2018 Super Rugby season and has scored the most tries of any forward.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Team tracker: Rugby sevens". 5 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald.
  2. ^ a b "Akira Ioane". New Zealand Rugby Union. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. ^ Toby Robson (stuff.co.nz) (2 May 2014). "Akira Ioane brings size, pedigree to NZ sevens". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  4. ^ "43 Māori athletes to head to Rio Olympics". Te Karere. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Nick Jordan (ur7s.com) (4 February 2014). "Bright future for New Zealand 7s newsboy Akira Ioane starting this weekend in Wellington on HSBC World Sevens Series". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  6. ^ Allblacks.com (7 July 2014). "Sevens team for Commonwealth Games named". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  7. ^ One News (10 February 2015). "Akira Ioane earns Blues contract". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  8. ^ nzherald.co.nz (16 January 2015). "Contract terminated: Peter Saili leaves Blues for France". Retrieved 20 March 2015.

External linksEdit

External linksEdit