Cruden to decide between 'Canes and Chiefs
July 5, 2011
Cruden has had a disappointing season with his Wellington franchise in Super Rugby © Getty Images
All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden is set to announce next week whether he will stay with the Hurricanes or opt to join the Chiefs.
Cruden is one of the most sought after properties in New Zealand rugby with the Blues also expressing an interest in the stand-off. However the 22-year-old has opted against a move to the Auckland club but will find the prospect of linking up with All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith and his former Manawatu and New Zealand Under-20 coach Dave Rennie at the Chiefs an attractive proposition ahead of next season's Super Rugby competition.
"It's just come down to those two now, I had a call from (Blues coach) Pat Lam as well which was really nice to know that other teams are looking at you, but at this point it's just between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes," Cruden told reporters at an All Blacks training camp in Wellington on Tuesday.
"I think when any other franchise come talking to you you've got to have a think about it. It's not as simple as just saying 'no see you later'; it's a professional industry now so you've got to make the best decision for yourself and your family."
Cruden will now discuss his future with his partner and will look at where fellow All Blacks and Hurricanes' team-mates Cory Jane and Piri Weepu decide their future lies ahead of the 2012 Super Rugby competition. The Hurricanes have already bid farewell to two former stalwarts, Andrew Hore and Ma'a Nonu, but will hope to keep hold of Cruden, Weepu and Jane. For Cruden, "personal development" is key in any future decision.
"It will be about my own personal development, coaching and team culture," Cruden said. "I suppose we've got to go away and write a pros and cons list to make the decision that is best suited for me and my partner.
"I think the makeup of squads sort of has a little bit of an effect so I've been talking to Piri and Cory Jane, just trying to pick their brain about what their thinking is and that will help. Regardless of the actions and incidents that happened with the Hurricanes this year, I would be thinking about it," he said.
Cruden was joined at the All Blacks camp in Wellington by 24 other World Cup hopefuls. They included Tony Woodcock, who has missed a large chunk of the season with a foot injury, Israel Dagg, who is recovering from a thigh injury, and Isaia Toeava who is struggling with a hip injury. Wing Hosea Gear sat out training with the ankle injury which forced him out of the training session conducted by Gordon Tietjens last week. The New Zealand sevens supremo takes the bulk of the squad for another session on Wednesday.
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