Cruden rejects Rio to face Lions

Date published: April 10 2015

Faced with prospect of playing in the Olympics or taking on the British and Irish Lions, Aaron Cruden has made his preference clear.

The Chiefs and All Blacks fly-half declined an invitation from Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens to make himself available for selection ahead of 2016.

"I have aspirations of playing against the Lions in 2017 and maybe taking a year off wouldn't do…my chances any good," Cruden told Stuff.

A number of New Zealand stars, including Sonny Bill Williams and Beauden Barrett and Julian Savea, may all be selected.

Preparing for Rio could take those leading players out of Super Rugby action for up to two months, while also meaning they might miss out on the Test series against Wales. The NZRU's general manager, Neil Sorenson, has rejected those claims.

"No player or Super Rugby team will be worse off," Sorensen stated.

"At the end of the day we are all working together to ensure we are in the best position to win gold, and keep producing winning All Blacks and Super Rugby teams."