Ranger quits Jake's Montpellier

    2015-03-03 12:10

    Montpellier - Hard-running back Rene Ranger is returning to New Zealand from French club Montpellier early and looking to break back into the All Blacks squad, officials said on Tuesday.

    New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said the 28-year-old had secured an early release from Top 14 club Montpellier - coach by former Springbok mentor Jake White - to return later this year and play Super Rugby with the Blues next year.

    While NZR said family reasons were the main motivation for Ranger's return, he also wanted to push for All Blacks selection and add to the six caps he earned from 2010-13.

    "He’s a classy player with the ability to surprise and that makes him a favourite of fans," NZR chief executive Steve Tew said in a statement.

    Ranger said he hoped his experience in France, where he has scored six tries in 15 games for Montpellier, would make him an asset for the Blues, who are winless this year after three rounds.

    "They are a quality side, but execution is letting them down so far," he said "Hopefully I can play a positive role because backs get excited with the sort of front-foot ball the Blues are getting.

    "I will come home a better rugby player. I am mentally stronger and I’ve learned a lot that I can bring back into the Blues environment."

    Ranger joined Montpellier in November 2013 on a two-year contract. He is likely to return to New Zealand in mid-2015.

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