Cruden commits future to All Blacks
Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:39
Quality of his character and his leadership
The All Blacks have secured a major commitment from one of their key players, Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden has inked a deal for a further three years.
25-year-old Cruden, who played his 31st Test in the All Blacks 27-28 series victory over England on the weekend, has signed with New Zealand Rugby and the Chiefs through until 2017.
He has also re-signed with his Manawatu Turbos provincial side for the same period.
Cruden said it was an easy decision for him to make.
"It's great for me and my family that I have been able to secure my rugby future through to 2017 and I'm delighted to be staying in New Zealand.
"I love the All Blacks, Chiefs and Manawatu and am thankful for the opportunities I have been given and I want to continue giving my very best to this great game."
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen paid tribute to the young playmaker.
"The All Blacks selectors are excited by the news that Aaron has recommitted to New Zealand rugby.
"Aaron is an outstanding young talent and a great team man and leader in our group.
"His contribution to All Blacks rugby and his other teams has been outstanding."
Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie added: "Aaron is an outstanding man and he has been a driving force behind the success of our team.
"He sets incredibly high standards for himself and his teammates. It wasn't just because of his skillset that we wanted him at the Chiefs, it was because of the quality of his character and his leadership.
"He continues to deliver in those areas at the highest level every day."
Cruden joins fellow All Blacks Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg, Ben Smith and Samuel Whitelock who have all signed with New Zealand Rugby through to 2017, the same year the British and Irish Lions will tour New Zealand.
As well, a number of current and recent All Blacks are also signed up for the next few years, including hooker Dane Coles, lock Luke Romano and midfielder Sonny Bill Williams (2016).
Captain Richie McCaw and fellow loose forwards Jerome Kaino, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua and Luke Whitelock; hooker Keven Mealamu; Ben Franks and fellow props Wyatt Crockett and Ben Afeaki; locks Brodie Retallick and Jeremy Thrush; scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow; All Blacks vice-captain Daniel Carter and fellow flyhalf Colin Slade; midfielders Ma'a Nonu and Francis Saili; and outside backs Julian Savea and Charles Piutau (all signed to 2015).
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