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Former All Black Ranger joins Sunwolves for 2019 season

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Former All Black Ranger joins Sunwolves for 2019 season
All Black Rene Ranger laughs while practising at Waikato Stadium during the New Zealand captain's run ahead of the second test against Wales, in Hamilton June 25, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Marple   -   Copyright  Nigel Marple(Reuters)
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Former All Black Rene Ranger and flyhalf Phil Burleigh, capped once by Scotland, will join the Sunwolves for the 2019 Super Rugby season, the Tokyo-based side announced on Friday.

The Sunwolves will be led next year by former attack coach Tony Brown, who took over from Jamie Joseph after he stood down in September to focus on preparing hosts Japan for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

The Sunwolves finished bottom of the Super Rugby standings in 2018 with three wins and 13 defeats.

They have turned to the physical Ranger, who can play wing or centre and has been capped six times by New Zealand, and Burleigh to boost their backline for the new season.

New Zealand-born Burleigh has not played Super Rugby since leaving the Highlanders in 2014 with his sole international cap coming in Scotland’s victory over Australia in October 2017.

Georgian hooker Jaba Bregvadze and fly-half Hayden Parker of New Zealand have also been retained by the Sunwolves for a second season.

The Sunwolves will open their 2019 campaign against the Sharks in February.

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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