BLUES and former All Black player Rene Ranger is on trial for allegedly punching a man unconscious and stomping on his head.
Ranger, 25, is charged with injuring with intent following the August 2009 incident that occurred outside the Mangawhai Tavern.
The trial is being held in the Whangarei District Court.
The victim, Jason Dick, suffered injuries to his eyebrow, nose and teeth, Crown prosecutor Grant Anscon said.
“It wasn’t an accident. He meant to do what he did,” Fairfax NZ reported him as saying.
However Rangers’ lawyer, Arthur Fairley, said Ranger did not punch or stomp on the man as alleged.
Rather, Dick ran over to Ranger as he waited outside the tavern and crashed into him.
Ranger did not assault him but fended him off and pushed him to the ground.
The complainant, testifying via a video link from Australia, said he had been play wrestling with a friend following a concert at the tavern.
The next thing he knew he was “spitting out teeth” and picking himself up off the ground, he said.
The trial before Judge Duncan Harvey is scheduled for four days.
Ranger played three tests for the All Blacks in 2010, scoring a try against South Africa.