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Cruden to start in 100th Gallagher Chiefs match

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Gallagher Chief Aaron Cruden is set to pull on the number 10 jersey for his 100th cap as a Gallagher Chief this Saturday against the Crusaders at FMG Stadium Waikato.

The 31-year-old first five-eighth made his debut for the Gallagher Chiefs against the Highlanders in 2012, two years after his Investec Super Rugby and All Black debut in 2010. Cruden was a key director of the Chiefs’ back-to-back Investec Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013. After notching up 89 caps for the Gallagher Chiefs and co-captaining the team alongside current Gallagher Chiefs captain Sam Cane, Cruden headed offshore to France in 2017 to play for Montpellier.

The talented play maker and accurate kicker announced his return to the Gallagher Chiefs late last year. Since Cruden’s return to Investec Super Rugby he has once again been a standout performer. His leadership, experience, and ability to seamlessly direct play have been key attributes in his many strong contributions in 2020.

Cruden said it will be a special moment on Saturday and one of many great moments he has had in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey.

"I have been very fortunate to play rugby professionally for as long as I have. I have had so many great moments playing and a lot of them have been in a Chiefs jersey. It is a very special team that I feel very passionate about and I am thankful for the opportunity to represent the Club. It has been an absolute privilege to pull on the jersey so thank you to all those involved and for the memories it has brought me."

Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Warren Gatland said it was a fantastic achievement and congratulated Cruden on his impending milestone.

"Aaron is an exceptional player, a great leader and a proud Chiefs man. He has been an influential contributor to this team both on and off the park this year and most importantly a great mentor for a number of these young players. It will be a very special moment for Aaron and the team on Saturday and it is fitting he is able to celebrate this milestone at FMG Stadium Waikato in front of a home crowd. He has been a privilege to coach this year."

Cruden has been named to start for the Gallagher Chiefs when they take on the Crusaders at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday evening.

Aaron Cruden Mini Bio: Originally from Palmerston North, Cruden kicked off his professional rugby career with Manawatu in 2008, representing the side on 33 occasions. Cruden made his Investec Super Rugby debut in 2010 for the Hurricanes featuring for the side on 25 occasions before making the move to the Chiefs in 2012. Cruden made his debut for the Gallagher Chiefs against the Highlanders in 2012, two years after his Investec Super Rugby and All Black debut in 2010. The first five-eighth was a key director of the Chiefs’ back-to-back Investec Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013. Prior to his departure in 2017 to French club Montpellier, Cruden co-captained the Gallagher Chiefs alongside current co-captain Sam Cane. February 2020 marked Cruden’s return in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey and first Investec Super

Rugby match since his departure in 2017, in which he helped the side defeat the Blues at Eden Park.

Cruden was a member of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2011 and the first five-eighth notched up 50-tests for the All Blacks.

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