All Black fly-half Aaron Cruden won't join the team in Argentina after a late night drinking session in Auckland saw him miss the flight.
All Black fly-half Aaron Cruden won't join the team in Argentina after a late night drinking session in Auckland meant he missed the squad's flight.
Cruden, who went out with team-mates the night the All Blacks' departure to Buenos Aires was delayed, has been punished by Steve Hansen.
The player will not fly out on a later flight, with New Zealand set to start Beauden Barrett this Saturday and use Colin Slade as a back-up.
“After going out and drinking he is not here,” Hansen told stuff.co.nz in an honest assessment of the situation for his in-form number ten.
“As a consequence of his actions he won't be coming on the Argentinean or South African leg of the trip. We wanted to be up front about that.”
According to the website, the flight to Argentina was delayed until Sunday morning and a group of All Blacks subsequently went to an Auckland pub where fly-half Cruden and others were pictured.
“We didn't have a curfew. He was out drinking and he didn't get there in time,” Hansen added.
“It's obviously disappointing and out of character for Cruds. He's extremely disappointed in himself.
“He understands there has to be a consequence for his actions.
“Once we get this out of the way then he will be coming back into the group when we go to Brisbane [for the third Bledisloe Cup test].
“It's not what we, or he, stands for. We all make mistakes. Like our children we love them but sometimes we don't love their behaviour.
“The team is well aware when we don't get that right there are consequences. He's paid the price for that.”