No further punishment for Cruden

Date published: October 3 2014

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All Blacks pivot Aaron Cruden has paid his dues after going out drinking and missing the team’s flight to Argentina last month.

All Blacks pivot Aaron Cruden has paid his dues after going out drinking and missing the team’s flight to Argentina last month, New Zealand rugby chiefs said on Friday.

Cruden was dropped for two Rugby Championship Tests over the incident, when he was left stranded in Auckland after a night out drinking as his teammates jetted off to face Los Pumas in La Plata.

The NZRU said a disciplinary process had found the 25-year-old was genuinely contrite, ruling that missing last week’s Argentina fixture and this Saturday’s clash against the Springboks was sufficient, and “no further sanction will apply”.

“Aaron has had to suffer the shame in a very public manner and that in itself is something most people don’t have to go through,” said NZRU general manager Neil Sorensen.

He said Cruden, who has earned 35 Test caps since his debut in 2010, would be eligible for New Zealand’s match against Australia in Brisbane on October 18.

An embarrassed Cruden, who has established himself as the All Blacks first choice fly-half in the absence of the injured Dan Carter, said after his suspension that he had “made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake”.

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