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More World Cup woe for Cruden as knee injury set to end All Black's season

The Chiefs playmaker ruptured knee ligaments in the win over Crusaders on Friday.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

NEW ZEALAND OUT-HALF Aaron Cruden looks certain to miss this year’s Rugby World Cup in England after suffering a knee injury in Super 15 action on Friday.

The 26-year-old kiwi suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the Chiefs’ 26 – 9 win away to the Crusaders.

A statement from the Chiefs said that they expect Cruden’s recovery to take six months, with surgery to be arranged after a consultation on Wednesday.

That time-frame would take Cruden to late October, when the World Cup would be a month old and Steve Hansen’s reigning champions would hope to be preparing for a semi-final.

Aaron Cruden misses his first kick to win the game Cruden nervelessly kicked a late conversion (at the second attempt) to seal a win for New Zealand over Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Cruden was a late call-up to the All Blacks squad in 2011 due to injury to Dan Carter. After Colin Slade also went down during the quarter-final win over Argentina, Cruden started the World Cup semi-final, kicking a classy drop-goal before succumbing to injury himself and being replaced by Stephen Donald who eventually got the All Blacks over the line in the Auckland final.

Mike Byrne and Dan Carter speak with Aaron Cruden after the game Cruden congratulated by Carter and kicking coach Mick Byrne after the win in Dublin. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Should Cruden miss out, New Zealand will likely go to England 2015 – where they could face Ireland in a quarter-final – with 33-year-old Dan Carter competing against fellow Crusader Colin Slade and the in-form Hurricane Beauden Barrett for the black number 10 jersey.

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Sean Farrell

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