Ranger to take centre stage

Wed, 23 Jan 2013 15:41
Large rene ranger looks 630 Large rene ranger headphones 630 Large rene ranger 630

After shifting between the midfield and different wings last season, Blues livewire Rene Ranger is focussing on making the No.13 jersey his own in 2013.

After shifting between the midfield and different wings last season, Blues livewire Rene Ranger is focussing on making the No.13 jersey his own in 2013.

With stocks thinning in the midfield for the All Blacks, there are huge opportunities for Ranger to reclaim the black jersey he wore on three occasions in 2010.

“This year I’ve had a yarn with JK [John Kirwan] and I’m keen to play centre and try to cement that spot. I want to get better at it so hopefully I get to play a bit more centre this season,” Ranger said.

 “It’s always a goal to get back in that black jersey. I missed out after ITM Cup for the end-of-year tour last year but that’s rugby for you.

“The key thing is to try and play well for the Blues, make them look good, hopefully make yourself look good and then you never know you might get those higher honours with the All Blacks.”

He’s still got the trademark smile and jovial attitude, but there is a steelier edge to Ranger this season as he takes up a leadership role in the franchise’s new-look backline.

One of only two backs remaining from last year’s campaign, the 26-year-old is heading into his fifth campaign with the Blues in 2013 and has stepped us as a leader amongst a young and enthusiastic group.

“JK’s put more of a leadership role on me this year as I’m getting to that veteran stage with the Blues in the backline,” Ranger said.

“Piri and I are the only ones here from last year but then again you’ve got all these young guys coming in, they’ve got good feet, they’re fast and I need to set the example by playing well.”

But that’s not going to deter Ranger from expressing his comical character.

Always one for a practical joke and a laugh, Ranger said he would strike a balance between having fun and getting down to business.

“I’m a joker and I always like to smile and keep the boys happy but there’s a balance where you’ve got to be serious as well. The young boys are really into it and they want to learn so hopefully when I speak up some of the stuff I say gets through.

“That used to be me, you either listen or you don’t but then again it may help you play better rugby. I’ve done that in the past with the likes of Rox [Joe Rokocoko], Ant Tuitavake and Isaia Toeava who really helped my game so hopefully I can do the same with this new generation of Blues players coming through.”

Whilst mentoring some of the new faces in the Blues backline, Ranger has also been working hard on his own game during the off-season.

His boxing match in December’s Fight for Life has seen the Northland star return to pre-season in the best shape he’s ever been in.

He’s fitter than ever, he’s lost weight while maintaining his strength and he’s clocking some of the fastest times over 10 metres for his position in New Zealand.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9