Monty Ioane is a first-choice starter for Italy. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Benetton confirm mutual termination of Italy wing Monty Ioane's contract

The 27-year-old said he’s dealing with mental health issues and needs to be with his family in Australia.

URC CLUB BENETTON have confirmed the mutual termination of Italy international wing Monty Ioane’s contract.

Ioane signed his most recent deal with the Italian side last December and it was due to run until the summer of 2024, with the option of another year.

However, Ioane is no longer a Benetton player after his departure was officially announced following recent speculation that he was close to an exit.

Ioane said that mental health issues have forced him to stop playing and he needs to be back in Australia – where he was born and grew up – with his family.

The Italian Rugby Federation said it will stay in regular contact with Ioane and he will be considered for international selection in the 2022/23 season. 

It’s understood that Ioane will now play his club rugby in Australia.

Ioane first joined Benetton in 2017 and qualified to play for Italy on residency grounds. The 27-year-old may yet add to his 14 Italian caps but his time with Benetton is over.

Ioane has been one of Benetton’s best players in recent seasons and his departure leaves them shorn of a key man just before the start of the new URC campaign. 

“I thank Benetton Rugby for the enormous opportunity granted to me in these splendid five years,” said Ioane in a statement released by the club.

“In Treviso, I found a family ready to help me mature as a man and to give me support even in the most difficult moments, as well as a club that has allowed me to grow a lot as a player.

“The termination of my contract with Benetton Rugby, despite the extension last December, comes due to mental health issues that have forced me to stop playing rugby in recent months – issues that in this moment of my life lead me to stay in Australia close to my wife and my children. 

“Finally, I would like to thank my team-mates and the fans for the warmth shown to me.”

Benetton thanked Ioane for “the precious contribution provided during five seasons spent in green and white” and wished him and his family the best for the future.

The Italian Rugby Federation issued a short statement following Benetton’s announcement.

“FIR took note of the termination of the contract between Benetton Rugby and the athlete Montanna Ioane, Azzurro number 698, made official by the Treviso franchise,” it reads.

“The Federation and the technical staff of the men’s national team will maintain regular contact with the player, who will be taken into consideration for the 2022/23 international activity.”

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