Blues centre Rene Ranger is heading to France to play his rugby for Montpellier, according to a report.
Sky TV's Reunion programme last night reported that the three-test All Black will leave for France at the end of the season.
Ranger has not played for New Zealand since 2010 but with Richard Kahui off to Japan and Conrad Smith expected to take a sabbatical at season's end, the 26-year-old midfielder, who can also play on the wing, would have again been in the mix at international level with a good season of Super Rugby under his belt.
The latest reports are nothing new with Ranger being an obvious target as his all-too-brief All Blacks career waned after playing three tests in 2010.
"There's been a few rumours about heading offshore and stuff; they were there a couple of years ago as well. At the moment my first goal is for the Blues and to play well for them," Ranger told Fairfax Media on the eve of the Super Rugby season
And what about resurrecting his test career? "Who wouldn't want to be an All Black? But there are so many talented players out there these days. You have to play well for your franchise first and if it comes, it comes. That's the way I look at it.
"The more positions you can play the more chance you have of making the side. You have got to be world class at playing in the midfield at the moment. I probably don't see myself as world class at centre yet. It's a challenge but I don't want to look too far ahead."
He's enjoying the encouragement and advice of Sir John Kirwan as well as reconnecting with former All Blacks mentors Sir Graham Henry and Mick Byrne, who are now in the Blues coaching mix.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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