New Zealand rugby
Ranger considers backing out of Montpellier deal
ESPN Staff
June 13, 2013
Rene Ranger  gets to the ball ahead of Aaron Smith, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, June 13, 2013
Rene Ranger gets to the ball ahead of Aaron Smith during an All Black training session ahead of the second Tests against France © Getty Images

New Zealand centre Rene Ranger may have to put club before country and honour his contract with French club Montpellier at the expense of his international career.

Earlier this year Ranger signed a three-year deal with Montpellier, believed to be worth more than$1 million, as he thought his international career was at an end. But last weekend he was recalled to the bench for the All Blacks' clash with France and now his management are reported to be looking for ways to extract him from the contract.

Understandably, Montpellier are said to be unamused and are demanding Ranger pays half the value of his contract to have the deal scrapped.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen came under fire from some quarters for naming Ranger despite knowing the player's future availability was uncertain. "We've said right from day one that if someone is playing well enough and is here for more than just the one campaign, we would consider them if they were playing better than everyone else," he said. "He's one of those guys, hence why we picked him.

"We were well aware of his contractual situation. He touched the ball twice last week, yet everyone is talking about how great he was, so that tells you what an impact he had. If you wrote a job description for a substitute, all those words would be in it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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