Exclusive: Ex-Castleford Tigers and Salford star Rangi Chase in harrowing revelation of drugs, alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts

Rangi Chase will forever be remembered for the way he played the game in Super League.

Someone with the world at his feet, the halfback dazzled with his majestic footwork and rugby brain, but things have also been a major struggle.

After leaving Castleford Tigers for Salford Red Devils at the end of 2013, Chase was caught using cocaine and was subsequently banned, but he’s now revealed exactly why he did it.

“I’ve been done twice – my time at Salford, I was going through money issues with them,” Chase told Serious About Rugby League.

“I was getting pushed out and I wasn’t getting on with the owner – I don’t think many people did.

“I had a lot of money owed and my marriage was breaking down, so I was just in a bad place not knowing at the time that I had depression.

“I was masking it with drink and depression, so I first started taking cocaine that year in a bid to take away the pain and the things I was going through.

“I was drinking and doing cocaine, that’s how I was dealing with things and not getting the money and the broken marriage.

“I had all these things coming at me and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

“I went to a game one weekend and I had been drinking and drugging mid week and then I got pulled.”

But, the problem still existed when Chase left Salford to return ‘home’ to the Jungle with the Castleford Tigers.

“I left Salford and still had that problem, and then I found myself back at Cas and I still had my issues with drinking and drugging.

“I was playing at Widnes and I had a lot of issues with not seeing my kids which really hurt me, so I was using alcohol and drugs again to take away that feeling.

“We were playing Wakefield, I had been drinking and using cocaine on the Wednesday and I went into the Thursday, trained Friday and then played Saturday and got done.

“I knew I was going to get caught – it was the worst three weeks of my life waiting for the results.”

The New Zealand-born halfback revealed just how tough it was to be ‘pushed out’ with very few people contacting him to see how he was.

“That was a a hard time as I had no help and got pushed aside – I got contacted from no one, all the clubs I had been involved in and played my all for, I had no call from – even the RFL.

“That was a really tough time and left a bitter taste of my mouth.

“I didn’t want anything to do with rugby anymore until Carl Hall at Doncaster came round and talked me back into playing when my ban was up.

“Most of my rugby friends, no one was there, but when I was at the top of my game everyone wanted a piece of me and wanted to get to know me and tell people that they are with you.

“But, you find out who really cares when you go through dark times, I had to go and work at a warehouse just to provide for myself and my kids.”

Chase then revealed that he has tried to take his life after feeling seriously unhappy.

“I did the same again (took drugs) and it was because I couldn’t see my kids.

“It was my fault because I was putting the drink and drugs in me and I was handling it the wrong way but things got too much for me and I was at a low point in my life.

“I didn’t care whether I was alive or not and went through hard times – alcohol and drugs on top of mental health and not seeing my kids, I didn’t see no point in living.”

With that being said, Chase reached out to the governing body and other important avenues and explained how it ‘saved’ his life.

“I’ve been and got help, I reached out to the RFL and GMB with Gareth Carvell, Sporting Chance and I need to give special mention to Colin Bland there which was set up by Tony Adams for pro rugby league and footballers.

“I went down there for a week and it saved my life and changed my life – I don’t drink and take drugs anymore.

“I’ve not touched the drink since I went to that place, it’s been over three months and it’s given me a different outlook on life.

“I’m still going through life, I’m still not seeing my kids but I’m doing the right thing about it, I’m going to court.

“I’m not trying to hide the pain with drinking and drugging and abusing myself – gambling, cryptocurrency and abusing there is help.

“This illness kills and it is a serious matter but I’m glad the RFL are implementing a lot of things behind mental health and I think they should be doing more as well because it seems that everyone has mental health problems, the increase is crazy.

“I lost a cousin to suicide and I once tried to take my life, it’s something that should be taken very serious.”

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