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All Blacks out-half Aaron Cruden is off the post-RWC2015 transfer market

The 25-year-old has signed a new contract which will see him stay in New Zealand until 2017.

Cruden broke Irish hearts last November.
Cruden broke Irish hearts last November.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ALL BLACKS OUT-HALF Aaron Cruden has re-signed with the All Blacks for another three years, securing his services for next year’s World Cup and the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour.

The 25-year-old, who has proved an able understudy and alternative to Dan Carter, said he was delighted to be staying with the All Blacks, who have a policy of not picking players who are based outside New Zealand.

“I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given and I want to continue giving my very best to this great game,” he said.

Cruden earned the first of his 31 Test caps in 2010 but really came of age a year later, when he became the All Blacks’ playmaker at the World Cup after Carter suffered a tournament-ending groin strain.

While an injury forced him off in the final, Cruden did enough in New Zealand’s successful campaign for him to be anointed Carter’s long-term successor.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Cruden, who survived a bout of testicular cancer in 2008, offered leadership and exciting skills.

‘Crudes’ is an outstanding young talent, a great team man and leader in our group,” he said. “His contribution to All Blacks rugby and his other teams has been outstanding.”

Cruden is also co-captain of the Waikato Chiefs, back-to-back defending champions in the Super 15 competition.

With Carter on a sabbatical, Cruden has faced competition for the number 10 jersey during the current series against England from Wellington Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett.

Richie McCaw reacts Richie McCaw may be targeted by European clubs in 2015. Source: Photosport/Anthony Au-Yeung/INPHO

This new contract removes Cruden from the list of potential targets for European clubs after the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The transfer market is likely to be blown wide open at that point, with Top 14 sides chief among the prospective buyers.

Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua Luke Whitelock, Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Afeaki, Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Dan Carter, Colin Slade, Ma’a Nonu, Francis Saili, Julian Savea,and Charles Piutau are all out of contract in 2015.

- © AFP, 2014

- Additional reporting by TheScore.ie.

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