Wallabies general Will Genia believes there should be no doubt Test and Queensland team-mate Digby Ioane is the most dangerous winger in world rugby.
But in an ominous warning to Super Rugby and Test rivals, Ioane says there’s plenty of improvement left in his blockbusting game.
Not content to bask in the glory of a breakthrough 2011, the powerful 21-Test finisher said on Monday he was hungry to also become a smarter player as the Reds defend their Super Rugby title.
“I’ve got a lot to learn,” Ioane said. “I wouldn’t say I’m the best but I just love playing footy.
“Last year was the first time I had a full season without injuries.
“This year is another year and I can’t wait to come back into it.”
But Genia said post-World Cup assessments that judged Ioane the best winger in the game – ahead of the likes of England’s Chris Ashton and New Zealand’s Cory Jane – were on the money.
“Definitely, I would have to agree quite easily,” the halfback said.
“He’s great on his feet, he’s quick, he’s strong in contact and it was just good to see him play a full year of rugby last season.
“He’s very important for whatever side he plays for. He brings a lot to the game.”
Ioane and Genia were among a host of Wallabies who returned to pre-season training with the Reds on Monday and the winger wasted no time in making his mark.
Ioane produced the squad’s best beep test – posting 13.10 to break the marks of Liam Gill and Dom Shipperley.
While Queensland will miss Quade Cooper (knee) for the first six weeks of the season, Genia was confident they could overcome the loss of the mercurial playmaker with a more orthodox game plan.
Mike Harris, Jono Lance and Ben Lucas are the main challengers to wear the No.10 jersey as Queensland aims to become the fourth franchise to win back-to-back titles following the Blues (1996-97), Crusaders (1998-2000 and 2005-2006) and Bulls (2009-2010).