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Rene Ranger: interview

Le 22 août 2014
Interview by Steve Whittell
SW: Firstly what thoughts have you from Saturday’s match against Racing ? 
RR: For the first game of the season I thought it was very tough and very important to get that first win at the start of the new TOP 14 season, we did not get the result we wanted, but can hold our heads high because we put in the effort and played good footie.
SW: Do you think we should be worried about the defeat ?
RR:  I don’t think we should be over worried, concerned yes, but you are always going to get a lose now and then, but we have to realise where we went wrong, keep that in the back of our heads and make sure we do not make the same mistakes twice, and keep moving forward for example at the next game against Grenoble on Saturday.
SW: Saturday, you had a great game, you look in great shape, personally do you feel in good shape and are you working harder than usual to get there ?
RR: Yes and No, I don’t think I had a great game I made a couple of mistakes, but as a team we played really well and if we keep to our instructions we should get the results we need. I myself feel pretty fit but there is always room for improvements, I came back from last season having a great break which did me good, I am well on the way but there is always room for more and I shall keep working very hard to maintain these levels.
SW: You played all the pre-season games at centre, but against Racing you played on the wing, does this change many things for you and what do you think is your best position?
RR. True all the pre season games I played centre but I got the call on Saturday to play on the wing, OK it was a bit of a shock, but at the end of the day Fabien makes the calls, and what’s best for the team well that’s how it has to be, I just what to play my best and maybe will get that centre spot one day but there is good competition there we have some excellent players in the centre and this is what the team needs everyone fighting for their spot.
SW: You were included in the Team of the Week from the sports newspaper L’Equipe, what does this represent personally for you ?
RR: Did not have a clue they had anything like that in France, but yes its good to be there if they think I deserved it, gives me more incentive to play to my very best level. Thank you L’Equipe
SW: Do you need to be as well known in France as you are in New Zealand and how do you feel about your popularity with the Montpellier supporters ?
RR: No I don’t think I was that popular in New Zealand, its just the way I am, a kind of cruising type of guy, always happy and smiling and easy to talk to I like to entertain the fans but there are boundaries that we must not cross, you cant go overboard, but its great to have the fans on your side and always brilliant when they get behind during a game especially when the pressure is on.
SW: That’s 9 months you have been in Montpellier, are you still enjoying the team the town and the region ?
RR: Of course Montpellier is awesome, the weather is unreal, I went home during the off season and weather was pretty grim, so to come back to this sunshine and everything is brill, Montpellier is super cool I love the place the fans are fantastic I am really enjoying it, still getting used to the way rugby is played in France, I still think I can get better but we are on the right road and again hard work will produce that..
SW: Can we talk about next Saturday’s match against Grenoble, there will be pressure on Montpellier and how are you and the team going to deal with it ?
RR: We have to keep to game structures use the advice of the coaches and keep the mistakes to a minimum, keep thinking about the discipline and not giving away stupid penalties, and obviously not get ahead of ourselves and keep to the game plan, we are training hard and the boys are in good shape so we need to get that first win, hopefully there will be a good crowd to get behind us and give us plenty of support.
SW: The coaches have obviously talked about last Saturdays game, what did they say and how          will they construct their build up for the game against Grenoble on Saturday ?
RR:  They have obviously talked to us about the game last Saturday and the also this coming Saturday against Grenoble, where we went wrong, and different options for different situations but this is all about confidence and a little more from all of us, and we will get the results that we need.
SW: What do you think are the most important factors for the match next Saturday ?
RR: First and foremost we have to win this game, if we win it ugly that’s just as good, but we have to win, get the set pieces right, the defence no mistakes, the line outs the boys have been working hard on that and if we can get good front forward ball, the backs will have the chance to play good attacking footie, make sure there are no mistakes and you never know, if it all falls into place a bonus point would be sweet
 SW: Last word, you are always smiling, even on the pitch, sometimes practising your dance    moves, what’s this all about? Is this the way you are, your character or your philosophy of life.
RR:  I not too sure, as you say I am that type of guy, cool, cruisy, yes I smile all the time and sometimes do a little dance if needs be while I am on the wing and the ball is far away, I think sometimes I forget that that are thousands in the stands watching and if it keeps them happy then I am happy, but it’s the way I am, my character is stay cool and keep happy, and I am a very lucky guy to be able to play rugby professionally, something I love and want to keep doing.
SW: Cheers Rene that excellent thank you and it sounds like fun being Rene Ranger!!!