Cruden still in running for All Blacks place ahead of Japan switch

Sports | REUTERS 13 Feb 2020

Aaron Cruden may still have a role to play for the All Blacks this year before the Waikato Chiefs fly-half swaps Super Rugby for Japan's Top League, new national coach Ian Foster has said.

The 31-year-old, who returned to the Chiefs for the 2020 season after cutting short a contract in France, will head to Kobe later this year and has played down suggestions he could be recalled to the national side. But Cruden has been in strong form in the first two weeks of Super Rugby and Foster, who watched the Chiefs beat the Canterbury Crusaders last Saturday, said he thought the fly-half was eligible for All Blacks selection.

"I think so," Foster said when asked if Cruden was available for Tests against Wales and Scotland in July and possibly the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship.

Cruden played 50 Tests for the All Blacks before leaving for France in 2017.

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