Super Rugby
Rene Ranger 'motivated' to get back after neck surgery
ESPN Staff
January 13, 2016
Ranger missed all of the 2015 ITM Cup following neck surgery © Getty Images

Blues coach Tana Umaga is confident that Rene Ranger will play a leading role this season even though the powerful centre and winger is yet to resume contact drills after the neck surgery, that prevented him from playing for North Harbour in the 2015 ITM Cup.

Ranger has returned to New Zealand after two years in France with Montpellier, where he announced that he would cut short by one season his three-year deal before he suffered the herniated disc injury at the top of his spine that required surgery.

Ranger has played six Tests for New Zealand, and Umaga said the player was "motivated and he's come back for a reason ... he knows what doing well with the Blues could lead to ... [but] I honestly don't know when he's going to be back".

"He wants to do everything but he can't," Umaga told Fairfax Media in New Zealand.

"He's doing all the running and he looks fitter than I thought.

"I'm advised by the medical team. He looks good to me. Rene thinks he is 100 per cent but I won't push him. It's about being sensible and giving him every chance to achieve his goals. The last thing we want is to have an angry Rene Ranger running around because he's got a sore neck."

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