He is an integral part of the Melbourne team at the top of the Australian super rugby event. But hooker Anaru Rangi does not seem to be listening to Michael Cheika, the Wallabies coach. So, those who don’t want to miss the entertainment have already bought their Rugby World Cup Tickets.
Despite the World Cup just six months away and the role of the No.2 Wallabies far from settled, Rangi said he had no contact with Cheika this year, so it’s apparently out of the mix.
Folau Fainga’a, the top-seeded Brumbies hitter, leads with veteran Tatafu Polota-Nau. His teammate Jordan Uelese, who was in the Wallabies group until he injured his knee in the middle of last year, has not played yet.
Before their confrontation with the Sunwolves at AAMI Park on Saturday night, Rangi said all he could do was continue playing in the hope of attracting the eyes of the selectors. He hoped that his age – 30 years – did not count against him.
“I hope it’s the form that matters most and the hard work, and as long as I continue to do it, I think I still have a chance. We are still in the early days and I will continue to push hard.”
He was awarded his place to fierce competition for a starting jersey in Melbourne, along with his Kiwi compatriots Robbie Abel, Uelese and new star Hugh Roach.
“There is a massive competition here every week, competing, scratching and scratching to get all the possible minutes on the weekend,” Rangi said. “When you train at this intensity, the game is almost like another workout.”
While dropping the beers in the middle of the week and changing his diet when he took his rugby seriously, Rangi claimed that the Rebels were now up to him to add even more weight to his 117kg body.
“The conditioning team would not be scared if I attached a little weight, but I like being busy and the work rate is very important to me,” he said.
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