The Colorado Raptors signed former New Zealand All Black Rene Ranger for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 33-year-old wing/center is 6′)’ and 212 lbs.
Rene is from Whangarei, New Zealand and attended Rodney College. He played club rugby for Wellsford and provincial rugby for Northland Taniwha in the ITM Cup in 2006, as well as in the New Zealand Cup in 2008. He was also part of the Blues wider training group in 2007 and made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2009 and played with the team through 2013.
From 2006-2008 he played for the New Zealand Sevens team. In 2006 and in 2007 he played in Dubai and South Africa Sevens. In 2008 he played in the first four World Sevens Series stops.
In 2009, he was called into the All Blacks training squad and played for the Junior All Blacks. He made his test debut for New Zealand against Wales on June 26, 2010, and the last of his six tests was against France on June 22, 2013. He remains the only All Black to ever come out of Wellsford. (All Blacks #1106).
Rene played two seasons for Montpellier in France’s Top 14 competition from 2013-2015 and was invited to play for the Barbarians in 2014. He returned to New Zealand to play for North Harbour in the 2015 ITM Cup, but a neck injury precluded him from playing before rejoining the Blues in 2016.
Rene played with Northland in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2018 before joining the Sunwolves in 2019. His Super Rugby stint ended prematurely, however, with an ACL injury.
Colorado Raptors Comments
“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 backline. 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 a team-first attitude.”
“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.”