Cruden commits to New Zealand through to 2017

Getty Images     17 Jun 2014     Getty Images

25-year-old Cruden, who played his 31st Test in the All Blacks 27-28 Steinlager 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. 'Crudes' 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."

Manawatu Rugby Union CEO John Knowles said the union was very proud of Cruden.

"Aaron was the first All Black from Manawatu for many years. Although he does not get many opportunities to return to play rugby locally, the young men coming through our systems can identify with him and aspire to follow in his footsteps in becoming future Super Rugby players and All Blacks. Aaron is part of Manawatu's whanau and we are delighted to sign him for the next three years of his rugby."

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; halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow; All Blacks Vice-Captain Daniel Carter and fellow first five-eighth Colin Slade; midfielders Ma'a Nonu and Francis Saili; and outside backs Julian Savea and Charles Piutau (all signed to 2015).

Aaron Cruden - mini biography

Co-captain of the Chiefs and a pivotal player as well for the All Blacks, Palmerston North-born Aaron Cruden is a world-class first five-eighth who made his provincial debut for Manawatu in 2008 as a 19 year old and captained New Zealand and was Player of the Year at the victorious Junior World Championship the following year. He made his Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in 2010, playing two seasons for the Canes before transferring to the Chiefs. He has more than 70 Super caps to his name and has scored more than 500 points and last year was voted Chiefs Player of the Year by the coaching staff and fans. Cruden made his Test debut in 2010 against Ireland in New Plymouth and the following year he won the ITM Cup Player of the Year after taking his Manawatu side to the ITM Cup Championship finals and was called into the Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks side, playing in the three playoff matches. He has made 17 starts in his 31 Tests and passed the 200 Test points mark in the first win over England two weeks ago.