Mark Ranby Bound for Japan




Waikato and Chiefs midfielder Mark Ranby is set to play rugby in Japan at the end of the Chiefs Rebel Sport Super 14 season.

The New Zealand Rugby Union and Waikato Rugby Union have agreed to release Ranby from his contracts so he can join a rugby club in Japan.

Waikato Rugby Union Chief Executive Gary Dawson said Ranby had been a loyal player to both the Waikato and Chiefs rugby teams.

‘Mark has been a great asset to Waikato and Chiefs rugby over the years. As well as his great form on the field, he has also been a huge contributor off the field. He will be missed by our supporters and our organisation. However, we wish him all the best for his time playing rugby in Japan,’ Mr Dawson said.

NZRU Deputy Chiefs Executive Steve Tew said the NZRU was prepared to release Ranby early from his contract, as he had given ten year of ‘outstanding’ service to New Zealand rugby.

‘Mark has had a fantastic career since making his debut for Manawatu in 1996 , then the Hurricanes a year later and, of course, with Waikato and the Chiefs. We wish Mark well and hope to see him back in New Zealand in the future,’ Mr Tew said.

Ranby, 28, has played 39 games for Waikato and 71 games for the Chiefs. In 2001, Ranby became All Black number 1001 when he played for New Zealand against Samoa in his one and only appearance in an All Blacks jersey.

If Ranby is selected in the Chiefs starting 22 for this Saturday’s clash against the Waratahs, it will be his final match for the franchise at Waikato Stadium.

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