herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

All-Black star missed flight after booze-up

New Zealand dropped star fly-half Aaron Cruden for the final two games of the Rugby Championship after he stayed out drinking and missed the All Blacks' flight to Argentina.

Cruden (below) will miss the game in La Plata this weekend and the clash with South Africa in Johannesburg on October 4.

The player described his actions as "unacceptable" and apologised to the team, his family and the public.

"I made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake," Cruden said in a statement published on the All Blacks' website.

"I carry the burden of shame and disappointment and I am deeply apologetic."

Cruden has played 35 times for the All Blacks since his debut in 2010, scoring 256 points.

He has started three of the four Rugby Championship tests this year, with record points scorer Dan Carter recovering from a broken leg.

The All Blacks are unbeaten in the four-nation competition, which also includes Australia.

"We are extremely disappointed at Aaron's actions, which are out of character," coach Steve Hansen said. "He is embarrassed at his actions."

Several All Blacks visited an Auckland bar last Friday after their flight to Argentina was delayed till the following morning. Cruden chose to stay at the bar when his teammates left and didn't make the flight.

"He was out drinking and he didn't get there in time," Hansen told reporters after the team arrived in Argentina.

Cruden said he was "devastated".

hnews@herald.ie

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