Josh Ioane in action for the Chiefs in 2023. Photosport/Bruce Lim/INPHO

Connacht confirm signing of Kiwi out-half Josh Ioane from Chiefs

The 28-year-old was capped once by the All Blacks in 2019.

CONNACHT HAVE CONFIRMED the signing of out-half Josh Ioane from Super Rugby finalists the Chiefs for the 2024/25 season.

Ioane will compete with Jack Carty for the westerners’ starting 10 jersey in the absence of JJ Hanrahan, who suffered an ACL injury against the Dragons in May.

The 28-year-old, who also covers fullback, was capped once by the All Blacks in 2019 having previously represented Samoa U20s.

Ioane started once and featured off the bench in 11 more of the Chiefs’ Super Rugby fixtures this season, including their defeat to the Blues in the final in his hometown of Auckland last month. Ioane’s try in the decider brought his tally to the season to four.

However, with incumbent All Black out-half Damien McKenzie set to occupy the 10 jersey for the Waikato franchise for the foreseeable future, Ioane will swap hemispheres in pursuit of more minutes at Connacht.

“We are thrilled to welcome Josh to Connacht next season,” said Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins. “We were open about the need for additional depth at 10 following JJ’s injury, and in Josh we have secured a player with a wealth of experience and an excellent skill set that will both excite our supporters and complement our existing backs.

“We look forward to him joining the squad and helping us push for success next season.”

Former Highlander Ioane was first called up to an All Blacks squad for the 2019 Rugby Championship after McKenzie had suffered an ACL injury.

However, despite benching for Beauden Barrett for one test against Argentina, Iaone was forced to wait for a World Cup warm-up game against Tonga later that year before he earned his first and only All Black cap. He was later left out of Steve Hansen’s final World Cup squad, a decision which was deemed contentious at the time due to Ioane’s form for the Highlanders.

Ioane played for the All Blacks XV against Ireland A at the RDS in November 2022, and previously played and scored against Ireland for the Maori All Blacks in both fixtures during Ireland’s summer tour of New Zealand that summer.

Having started 31 of his 45 Super Rugby games for the Highlanders earlier in his career, Ioane swapped Otago for Waikato in 2021.

He has since struggled for regular starts with the Chiefs, coming off the bench in 22 of his 29 appearances across three seasons.

The 2024 season was Ioane’s most prolific season in Hamilton, however, as he scored four of his five total Chiefs tries.

While he has deputised at fullback more regularly, the exciting playmaker has also made eight career appearances at inside centre.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel