The Colorado Raptors are excited to officially announce their final player signing for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. Rounding out the Raptors player squad is former New Zealand All-Black, Rene Ranger.
“We’re all really excited to have Rene join our environment for the coming season,” Raptors Head Coach Peter Borlase said. “With Rene playing at the highest level both internationally as well as in southern/northern hemisphere competitions his knowledge and leadership will be well received in our squad, especially developing some of the young blood in our back line. Rene is known for his direct physical style of play, but also his distribution skills and will add to our players play. He is a top man with humility, a hard work ethic, and team first attitude.”
Ranger grew up in the rural community of Wellsford, the northern-most town in Auckland. In 2006, he made his provincial debut for the Northland Taniwha side, while also catching the eye of Gordon Tietjens and was selected to represent the New Zealand Sevens Team on tour in Dubai. Debuting for the Blues Super 14 side in 2009, he quickly was called through the ranks into the All Blacks training squad. He made his test debut for New Zealand against South Africa in June 2010. His performance warranted being named to the Tri-Nations Cup later that summer, and Ranger continued to earn six caps in three years for the New Zealand National Team and remains the only All Black to ever come out of Wellsford.
More recently, Ranger played two seasons for Montpellier in France’s Top 14 competition and was invited to play for the Barbarians. He eventually returned to New Zealand, signing to play with the Blues, where he started his Super Rugby career. Unfortunately, Rene underwent neck surgery in 2015 and obviously had to take it slow coming back into the top-level once again. He did make it back in 2016, marking yet another cap in his impressive Blues career.
“There’s no doubt that Rene made a mark on the game in New Zealand,” Borlase added. “His years of service in developing Northland rugby are exactly what we want in the type of player joining us here in Colorado. We know he will be an extremely positive addition to this team and we can’t wait to get the season started.”
With the Raptors squad complete, the Colorado MLR team will kick off their preseason on Dec. 2, preparing for two preseason matches in January and the season opener in February. Reserve your 2020 season tickets now at https://tickets.infinityparkatglendale.com/.