Keo.co.za brings you the latest Super Rugby news from New Zealand.
Ranger’s ready to rock
Blues utility back Rene Ranger, said to be off to France after Super Rugby, won’t go if he can force his way into the All Blacks.
Ranger took it upon himself to call All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and asked him what he needed to do to be picked for the All Blacks.
Hansen told him to put in big performances every weekend; not just occasionally.
‘It’s not about the All Blacks saving Rene Ranger,’ said Hansen. ‘He has to decide he wants to be an All Black, then play so well we can’t leave him out. It’s about Rene putting together consistent performances.
‘It’s about the Auckland coaching staff supporting him in doing that to fulfil his potential. If he does that he’ll be very hard to leave out, won’t he?
‘Rene rang me and asked what he has to do to make the All Blacks and he got the same answer I’m telling you. You have to have a high-intensity game and be able to do it consistently week in week out with a very low error rate.’
Ranger has been outstanding for the Blues in the early part of the season and even in the defeat against the Bulls he was the one player to excel.
Highlanders invest in oldies
The struggling Highlanders have been forced to call on 35 year old Jason Rutledge to cover at hooker and 34 year old Neil Brew to do a holding job in the midfield. Both have played often for the Highlanders but were not considered an option this season because of their age.
However, injuries have forced a recall.
Rutledge, a plumber in Invercargill, was on standby for the Hurricanes a week ago but didn’t get game time. He returned to his plumbing job and then got the call from his old side the Highlanders.
Zack Guildford is back with the Crusaders and could be included in the match 22 this weekend.
Guildford spent the last six weeks in rehab for alcohol addiction.