Chiefs fly-half Cruden out for 6-8 weeks
April 7, 2014
Cruden is in doubt for the All Blacks' Tests in June © Getty Images
Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden will be sidelined for up to two months with a broken thumb which could put him in doubt for the All Blacks' Tests against England in June. The All Blacks fly-half and Chiefs co-captain fractured his left thumb during the Chiefs' 43-43 draw with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday and is expected to be out for six to eight weeks.
Cruden completed the game, landing a conversion after the hooter to level the scores, but an X-ray later confirmed a fracture. The injury puts a cloud over the 29-Test veteran's availability for the three-Test home series against England in June. The first Test is in Auckland on June 7. Veteran fly-half Dan Carter will miss that series after negotiating a six-month break from rugby to rest and recover from injuries.
Cruden and Hurricanes playmaker Beauden Barrett are the leading candidates to start at No.10 against England. The multi-skilled Cruden leaves a sizeable hole at the Chiefs, having played nearly every game for the past three seasons. His position and goalkicking duties will probably be handed to Gareth Anscombe, who played at fullback against the Cheetahs.
The Chiefs play the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton on Saturday.
Chiefs chase down Cheetahs lead to secure a draw
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance