Aaron Cruden has said he’s deeply embarrassed after a drunken night out has resulted in him missing the All Blacks’ team flight to Argentina. He has been suspended for two matches, so will miss Tests against Los Pumas and the Springboks.
A few members of the New Zealand squad were at a bar for a meal and drinks ahead of the flight to Argentina for the next round of the Rugby Championship. As Cruden explained in his statement:
“On Saturday night, whilst out for an informal dinner in Auckland, I made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake,” the talented number ten said.
“This has resulted in the unacceptable action of me being absent from the All Blacks assembly on Sunday morning and thus missing the team flight to Argentina.
“I am deeply embarrassed by this lack of judgement and have never been more disappointed in myself. I have not only let myself down, but most importantly, I have let the team down. I carry the burden of shame and disappointment and I am deeply apologetic to my team, to my family, and also the New Zealand rugby public.
“I have no excuses. I have been working really hard over the past few years at gaining the respect on the field as well as off the field and am devastated I have dropped my own high personal standards, as well as the standards set by New Zealand rugby.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions and the penalty of missing the next two games, and will work with New Zealand rugby to undertake any other disciplinary action to work through this situation.”
As well as missing the matches and the fees that he would have received, he’ll no doubt face a disciplinary hearing of some sort in a few week’s time. Unlike other past cases of high profile rugby players with drinking problems, this appears to be a once off, and to his credit, he’s handled it well.
“It’s certainly out of character for him and he’s extremely disappointed, as are we,” said coach Steve Hansen. “It’s not what we stand for and it’s not what he stands for. I guess we all make mistakes. Like our children, we love our children but sometimes we don’t like their behaviour.”
video: Allblackstv | photo: Zookeepers bar