Aaron Cruden is one of the best attacking players in international rugby with a strong boot and proven ability to spark his backline. The Manawatu first five-eighth has established himself as one of the world's leading playmakers since making his Super Rugby debut in 2010.
Cruden is welcomed back to the All Blacks for the first time since appearing against England at Twickenham in 2014. Recovery from injuries - including knee reconstruction surgery - kept him off the field for large periods in 2015 but he has been in stellar form for the Chiefs in 2016.
He played six Tests following his All Blacks debut, was part of the Manawatu side that made the ITM Cup Championship Final, received the ITM Cup Player of the Year award and joined the All Blacks RWC 2011 squad for three Tests, appearing against Argentina, Australia and France.
Cruden made his provincial debut for Manawatu Turbos in 2008 and captained New Zealand to the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship title in Japan, as well as being named IRB Junior Player of the Year 2009.
Cruden made his Hurricanes debut on 29 January 2010 against The Brumbies in Porirua. On 20 February 2010, he scored his first Super Rugby points when he converted a try in the Hurricanes' 47-22 win over Western Force at the Westpac Stadium. He scored his first try for the Hurricanes in the 33-31 success against the Hughlanders in Dunedin on On 24 April 2010.
He was a key director of the Chiefs’ back-to-back Investec Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013. With competition stiff for the number 10 jersey, Cruden has established himself as an on-field general who has great vision for scoring opportunities.
v Ireland at New Plymouth 12/6/10
|Test Points Breakdown:||
5t, 53c, 55p, 1dg
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Manawatu Air New Zealand Cup team (2008)
Palmerston North Boys High School 1st XV (2006)
All Blacks 2010
Rugby ground: FMG Stadium – Palmerston North
Rugby player and why:
Food: Steak, chips and eggs
Actor/Actress: Charlize Theron and Jason Statham
Movie: Stepbrothers and Pineapple Express
Singer/Band/Music type: Bit of everything
Holiday destination: Gold Coast
Non-rugby sports team: Liverpool
If you could meet one person, who would it be and why: Lance Armstrong
Earliest rugby memories: running around bare foot in the frost
I hate it when….people snore
I can’t live without…..water
If I wasn’t a rugby player I would be…. waiting on tables