England start surprised Cruden

Date published: November 7 2014

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New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden will run out at Twickenham restored in the All Blacks’ fold after his exclusion earlier this year.

New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden will run out at Twickenham restored in the All Blacks’ fold after his exclusion earlier this year.

Cruden missed New Zealand’s flight to Argentina and was consequently left out for the Test matches against Argentina and South Africa.

The Chiefs number ten returned in Chicago last Saturday when the All Blacks hammered the USA, but starting a big Test in London this weekend confirms that Cruden has been forgiven for his actions.

Even having worked his way back into the squad, Cruden still wasn’t expecting to start against England.

“To be honest I wasn’t expecting it. I was sitting there a little bit unsure of whether I was going to be named,” Cruden told the Telegraph.

“To be named in the starting line-up is obviously a huge honour, especially to take on the English at Twickenham. It’s going to be a massive battle.

Cruden was asked whether he feared for his Test career was irreparably damaged following the incident in September.

“Absolutely. I think you’d be silly not to. That certainly was the case,” added Cruden.

“You never know, putting yourself in a bit of jeopardy like that, what you could potentially lose and that was definitely at the forefront of my mind.

“The boys have been great, the management have been great for me, but I was pretty nervous and apprehensive coming back in after what I did.

“I know I stuffed up and I will be working hard over these next couple of weeks – and I have been already – to earn the respect that I lost, not only to the people in this team but also the rugby fans back home in NZ and this weekend is the first opportunity to really do that.”

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