With Damian McKenzie’s late-season injury testing his first five depths, the All Blacks may have to look out for a third-string pivot for the Rugby World Cup. While Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga are essentially locked for the first two places. The third now seems to be of genuine concern to Steve Hansen. Their fans have bought their Rugby World Cup Tickets.
Kirwan told The Breakdown of Sky Sport that the selectors should consider trying to bring back the international 50 tests to help him defend the World Cup in Japan. The 30-year-old has lost the favor of his Montpellier club after being injured in more than half of the top 14 club games last season.
“I think Cruden is the best, his club does not like him, but he has to go home now,” Kirwan said. “He has to sign with New Zealand Rugby, go home for next year and start playing.”
At the end of 2017, Cruden signed a four-year, 3.6 million NZD contract with Montpellier, which will expire in 2020. He was also linked to a move to Glasgow Warriors, where he found former head coach Dave Rennie.
The former Chiefs playmaker was part of the All Blacks team that won the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, starting the final against France, until a knee injury forced him to leave the field and set the stage for Stephen Donald’s unlikely feats.
Other options for replacing McKenzie include Brett Cameron of the Crusaders, Otere Black of the Blues and their brother Marty McKenzie.
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