Senior ABs let down by Cruden

Date published: September 23 2014

Senior All Blacks, centre Conrad Smith and hooker Keven Mealamu, said they were disappointed in Aaron Cruden’s behaviour which led to him being dropped from the world champions’ squad.

Cruden was dropped from New Zealand’s squad for their away matches against Argentina and South Africa when he missed the flight to Argentina after a late night drinking session in Auckland.

Although both Smith and Mealamu tried to move on from Cruden’s indiscretion, they made it clear that they do not condone the fly-half’s behaviour.

“It’s obviously pretty disappointing, but it’s something that’s happened,” Smith told Fairfax Media.

“Coming over it was a bit strange as it happened just before we were getting on the plane.

”We’ve had time to digest it now and we’ll train this afternoon and start looking forward.”

117-Test veteran Mealamu, who is regarded as the team’s disciplinarian, echoed Smith’s sentiments.

“We were all pretty disappointed,” he said.

“It was probably a bit out of character, especially for Cruden.

”We’re into test week now so it’s been dealt with. We had to put it aside so we can concentrate and do a good job this week.”