Ranger could shun France for ABs shot

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 10:04 26/05/2013
Rene Ranger
Getty Images
CHANGE OF HEART: Rene Ranger could yet turn his back on a lucrative contract with French club Montpellier to chase a black jersey.

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Rene Ranger's agent is in France exploring the possibility of a substantial payout to allow the Blues midfielder to remain in New Zealand rugby.

Ranger is understood to have signed a three-year deal with Montpellier worth close to $600,000 per-year. He was due to take up the contract after one final NPC season with Northland this year, but after his standout form earned him selection in the All Blacks training camps, Ranger is having second thoughts.

It is understood he may have to pay up to $300,000 to buy out of the deal he signed in December last year and a decision could be made before Steve Hansen reveals his squad to play three tests against France next month.

"If the opportunity is to stay then there could be a payout," Ranger said. "I'm not to sure. The agent is dealing with that.  

"I'm still deciding whether I stay or go. I told them [Montpellier] I've been in the camp. Whether Shag [Hansen] takes me or not I'll just have to wait and see. I haven't had a yarn with my agent for a while. He's overseas now."

Ranger indicated he was uncertain about what was the right option. He could stay and push for a spot in the All Blacks leading into the 2015 World Cup, or take financial security in the south of France.  

"I still see myself not in the frame. They've still got Conrad [Smith]. Even if he takes a sabbatical they've got Ben Smith. Everyone is chopping and changing positions. Versatility is good, but will you be on the bench? Will you start? It's one of those hard decisions.

"I'm still deciding. If the option is to stay then there's things you have to deal with within the contract. Nothing is 100 per cent. It's still a waiting game."

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