Aaron Wiremu Cruden (born 8 January 1989) is a New Zealand rugby union player, who plays for Chiefs and formerly Montpellier, Manawatu and the New Zealand internationally. Cruden's usual position is first five-eighth (fly half).
Cruden in Fiji, June 2016
|Full name||Aaron Wiremu Cruden|
|Date of birth||8 January 1989|
|Place of birth||Palmerston North, New Zealand|
|Height||178 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||84 kg (185 lb; 13 st 3 lb)|
|School||Palmerston North Boys' High School|
|Rugby union career|
Cruden of Māori descent was born in Palmerston North and attended Palmerston North Boys' High School. He captained the 2006 Palmerston North Boys' High School 1st XV which included the likes of Hadleigh Parkes, Kurt Baker and Andre Taylor.
In 2008 Cruden attended the High Performance Player's Course at the International Rugby Academy NZ (IRANZ). Cruden's Positional Coach was former All Black Grant Fox and Course Facilitator former All Black Jeff Wilson.
Cruden made his provincial debut for Manawatu Turbos in 2008.
He captained New Zealand to the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship title in 2009 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, Cruden scored his first Super Rugby points, when he converted a try in the Hurricanes' 47–22 win over Western Force at the Westpac Stadium. On 24 April 2010, Cruden scored his first try for the Hurricanes in the 33–31 success against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
On 14 July 2011, it was confirmed that Cruden had signed to the Chiefs for the 2012 season. Cruden said that it was his relationship with new Chiefs coach Dave Rennie that swayed his decision to leave the Hurricanes and set up base in Hamilton for 2012.
Cruden made his debut for the Chiefs in Week 1 of the 2012 season, in a 23-19 loss to the Highlanders. As of 16 April 2012, Cruden had scored 95 points in seven Super Rugby appearances and his performances praised by Chiefs coach Rennie.
On 4 August 2012, Cruden kicked 4 conversions and 3 penalties in the Chiefs' 37-6 victory over Sharks in the 2012 Super Rugby season Final leading to his team becoming the 2012 Super Rugby season champions.
In 2010 Cruden made his debut for the All Blacks in a test match against Ireland.
On 30 May 2010, Cruden had been named as one of four new caps in the All Blacks squad to play test matches against Ireland and Wales. On 12 June 2010, Cruden made his All Blacks debut in the 66–28 victory over Ireland in New Plymouth, replacing Dan Carter in the 53rd minute. Cruden made his second appearance in an All Blacks jersey on 19 June 2010, when again he replaced Dan Carter, in the 42–9 victory over Wales, in the last ever match at Carisbrook in Dunedin. He scored his first try for the All Blacks on 26 June 2010 in a 29–10 victory over Wales in Hamilton.
On 2 October 2011, during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, it was announced Cruden had been called up as a replacement in the All Blacks squad for Dan Carter, after the New Zealand starting fly-half injured his groin during training. On 9 October 2011, Cruden replaced Colin Slade in the first half of the All Blacks' 33-10 World Cup Quarter Final victory over Argentina, at Eden Park, and contributed a conversion to the score. On 9 October 2011, Cruden again replaced Colin Slade, now as starting fly-half, due to a groin injury received by Slade during the World Cup Quarter Final with Argentina. Cruden started the match at First Five-Eighth against Australia on 16 October 2011, in the World Cup Semi Final at Eden Park, scoring a drop goal in the 20-6 victory for the All Blacks. On 23 October 2011, Cruden started for the All Blacks in the World Cup Final at Eden Park, but left the field in the 34th minute with a knee injury, believed to be hyperextension. The All Blacks went on to win the game against France 8-7 and Cruden picked up his World Cup winners' medal.
Cruden won his twelfth cap for the All Blacks in the final test against Ireland in Hamilton on 23 June 2012 replacing the injured Dan Carter in the starting line-up. Cruden set up two tries for Sonny Bill Williams and had a hand in a third and kicked two conversions before limping off during the first half of the 60-0 All Blacks victory.
On 8 September 2012, Cruden started in the 2012 Rugby Championship Test against Argentina. The match was played in atrocious conditions at The Caketin in Wellington. Cruden kicked three penalties and one conversion in the All Blacks' 21-5 victory.
Cruden returned to Super Rugby as captain of the Chiefs and was re-selected for New Zealand in 2016, having missed the 2015 season due to injury. Cruden was initially used as the starting fly-half, but continued to struggle with injury. This meant that Beauden Barrett- who was consistently playing better and better was able to supplant Cruden.
Cruden came off the bench in all three tests against the British and Irish Lions in the 2017 series, playing his 50th and final test for New Zealand in the drawn 15-15 series decider against the Lions.
Pld = Games Played, W = Games Won, D = Games Drawn, L = Games Lost, Tri = Tries Scored, Con = Conversions, Pen = Penalties, DG = Drop Goals, Pts = Points Scored
Correct as of 24 June 2014
- "Aaron Cruden". Player Profile. Manawatu Rugby. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
- Reid, Neil (30 September 2008). "Young Turbos star tackles cancer head-on". Yahoo Sports New Zealand. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Cruden named IRB Junior Player of the Year". irb.com. 21 June 2009. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Robson, Toby (30 January 2010). "Aaron Cruden Stars in Debut for Hurricanes". Fairfax. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Force can't stop Hurricanes". Sky Sports. 21 February 2010. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Hurricanes outlast Highlanders to stay alive". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Associated Press. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Cruden's Chiefs move confirmed". All Blacks. NZPA. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Lampp, Peter (15 July 2011). "Dave Rennie helps Cruden make tough call". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Highlanders dig deep to down Chiefs in Super Rugby opener". Australian. News. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Anderson, Ian (16 April 2012). "Taumalolo plays battering ram in Chiefs win". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- Pegden, Evan (22 April 2012). "Chiefs battle past Sharks to stay top of the table". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Robson, Toby (14 July 2012). "Hurricanes snatch thrilling win over Chiefs". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- McKendry, Patrick (4 August 2012). "Relentless Chiefs run away with title". NZ Herald. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Johnstone, Duncan (30 May 2010). "Four newcomers in first All Blacks squad". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Geenty, Mark (12 June 2010). "All Blacks score nine tries in Ireland rout". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Hinton, Marc (20 June 2010). "Carter masterclass sets up win over Wales". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Ford, Greg (26 June 2010). "All Blacks ease to second victory over Wales". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Tri-Nations: New Zealand 31–17 South Africa. BBC. 17 July 2010
- "Cruden makes most of his moment". TVNZ. Television New Zealand. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Hinton, Marc (10 October 2011). "Muliaina and Slade out; Gear and Donald in". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Gallagher, Brendan (23 October 2011). "Rugby World Cup: New Zealand 8 France 7". Sunday Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- Robson, Toby (22 June 2012). "Mature Cruden confident he can do job". Rugby Heaven. NZ: Fairfax. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Knowler, Richard (23 June 2012). "All Blacks annihilate Ireland in third test". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- Napier, Liam (25 June 2012). "Cruden cameo confirms status". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Marshall, Justin (25 June 2012). "Cruden presents All Blacks challenge to Carter". Rugby Heaven. NZ: Fairfax. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Sportal (8 September 2012). "Quick NZ tries punish Argentina". All Blacks. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2012.