Real change around the corner for Reds winger Digby Ioane
SUPER rugby is good for the rugby code, on so many levels.
Last weekend's round was a wonderful gift, not only to the clubs, sponsors, broadcasters and even the professional playing group, but most of all it was a timely and deserving gift for you and me.
Supporters of the code who have kept strong to rugby through some less-than-stellar footy over the last few years were all rejoicing in the splendour of some quality offerings ... and deservedly so.
The on Monday, rude reality blindsided us, opening the paper to read that the long-running melee over contractual negotiations between the QRU and Digby Ioane had escalated.
I'm not here to take sides.
And to be honest from what I've experienced in this area, and heard about the Digby/QRU situation, there is more to it, and two sides to the story.
And for this particular situation, it's been going on for about 18 months.
What I do know is that it's the crude reality of professional sport that divides us punters, and we still struggle to come to terms with it.
As to the consequences of all this? For the Reds and the QRU, any disruption will be minor.
The Reds will continue on with minimal impact to their rugby program and aspiration for Super Rugby supremacy.
Their wing and back three stocks are strong.
And as for the QRU, it's a very strong brand (I went to a QRU business breakfast the other morning and the place was abuzz with more than 400 in attendance!), and the loss of one player - no matter how popular - would have minimal impact on its commercial position.
As for Digby? I think there is some real change around the corner for him.
Strangely for Digby, it appears his time with the Reds is not the only consequence.
His time in Aussie rugby is over, too (for the time being, that is).
A condition in his contract dictates he can't play for any other Aussie Super Rugby club, should he not take up the third year option with the Reds.
Where does that leave the very popular big fella?
Overseas appears the most likely option.
Hit Japan or Europe for a few years, then come back and play for an Aussie Super club in time to push for Wallaby selection in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Or, what about the option of Digby playing for another Super Rugby club, outside of Australia?
That keeps him in the southern hemisphere and in Super Rugby, and offers him and his management team 10 possible 'new' homes.
Irrespective of what occurs over the next few years for Digby, I hope we see him in a position to be available for 2015 Wallaby World Cup selection.