The Crusaders have added two familiar names to their ranks for the upcoming Super Rugby Aotearoa competition with Rene Ranger and Josh McKay both signed as injury cover.
McKay was announced as a replacement for All Black Braydon Ennor, who will miss the domestic competition while he recovers from a ruptured ACL while Ranger is covering George Bridge and Manasa Mataele, who are both recovering from pectoral injuries.
Ranger, 34, joins the Crusaders having previously played 76 games for the Blues between 2009-2017 while also earning six All Blacks caps. Most recently, Ranger finished a season with Northland in the Mitre 10 Cup where he played both in the midfield and on the wing.
If Ranger were to don a red jersey, it’d likely be at midfield with the Crusaders still spoiled for choice on the wings with Sevu Reece, Will Jordan and Leicester Fainga’anuku available.
In contrast, Jack Goodhue and Dallas McLeod are the Crusaders’ only specialist midfielders available at the moment with utility David Havili also available to cover 12 or 13.
McKay’s signing could be another steal for the Crusaders after some were left shocked at the 23-year-old’s omission from the Highlanders’ squad after an improved season late last year.
McKay could get some early revenge for the Crusaders next month when they play the Highlanders in a preseason match in Temuka on February 12 or two weeks later in their season-opener in Dunedin on February 26.