Anaru Rangi to make Melbourne Rebels return ahead of 2022/23 season

Anaru Rangi previously played for Rebels between 2018 and 2020
Anaru Rangi previously played for Rebels between 2018 and 2020

Melbourne Rebels have announced that hooker Anaru Rangi will make a return to the Super Rugby club ahead of the 2023 season.

Born in Wellington, the 33-year-old started his career with Perth Spirit in 2015 and a year later went on to make his Super Rugby debut with Western Force making nine appearances for them across two seasons.

The 33-year-old made a switch to Melbourne Rebels ahead of the 2018 season and went on to make 20 appearances for them in the first two seasons while also representing Melbourne Rising in the National Rugby Championship.

His association with the Rebels ended during the 2020 season that was disrupted by the pandemic coronavirus as he moved to Japan where he represented NTT Communications Shining Arcs.

Rangi's arrival will strengthen the club's front row that already has Wallabies’ pair Pone Fa’amuasili, Jordan Uelese, Australian A squad member Matt Gibbon, Sam Talakai, Cabous Eloff and Cameron Orr.

“I can’t wait to head back over,” said Rangi to the club's official website.

“I’m a big fan of the Club’s direction, it’s culture and the coaches – Footey, Geoff Parling, Will Markwick.

“I really enjoyed my time at the Rebels, especially playing in front of the Club’s fans who were awesome at AAMI Park, so I can’t wait to get back on the field and do that again.

“Playing overseas has taught me quite a bit, so I’ll be looking to bring that experience back to the Rebels and offer value to the Club’s younger players where I can.

“Experiencing something different for a couple of years has really made me excited about rejoining Melbourne once again, so I can’t wait to get started.”