Ranger's All Black return on ice

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:33
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NEWS: Rene Ranger's hope of a return to the All Black team in the near future has been put on ice.

The injured wing is facing a misconduct hearing, after being found guilty of drink-driving on Wednesday.

The national body, New Zealand Rugby, and the Blues confirmed that they have initiated "misconduct proceedings" against Ranger - following a drink-driving incident earlier this month.

Ranger appeared at the Waitakere District Court and pleaded guilty to charges of careless driving and drink-driving.

He was convicted, and disqualified from driving for seven months, fined NZ$800 and ordered to pay court costs.

Blues Rugby Chief Executive Michael Redman said that it was disappointing Ranger had found himself in this position.

"We are disappointed in the poor choice that Rene made, especially for a player of his experience," Redman said.

"We have clear policies and guidelines that our players agree to that include the behaviour that we expect from them and they can expect of each other.

"Rene has accepted responsibility for his actions and we will work through an internal process with New Zealand Rugby now the outcome of the legal process is known."

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said they would be working with the Blues to complete the misconduct process as quickly as possible.

"We know that Rene has taken responsibility. He has apologised to his employer and to those directly affected by his actions, and we commend him for that.

"Rene is also an experienced campaigner and is well aware of the high standards that we set for all contracted professional players.

"Regardless of the outcome of the misconduct proceedings, we will work with the New Zealand Rugby Players Association to look at the best next steps in order to ensure Rene has access to the help he needs," Sorensen said.

Ranger has not played since April, when he ruptured an ACL ligament in his left knee.

It was the 29-year-old's first season back from France.

He is facing six months of rehabilitation, and the injury setback followed neck surgery last year.

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