New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden has revealed that the prospect of playing the British & Irish Lions in 2017 was a chief factor in his decision to sign a new contract.
Cruden and the All Blacks welcome the Lions to the Land of the Long White Cloud in three years time, a place where the tourists have only ever won one series.
And while after next year’s World Cup there is the prospect of some All Blacks coming to ply their trade in Europe, for Cruden a Lions tour was something he was not willing to forsake.
"It was definitely in the pipelines. It's potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity for some and you never want to look too far ahead but, committing to 2017, it's definitely a goal."
Cruden also admitted that signing a new three-year deal with the NZRU gives him stability for his family.
"Representing the All Blacks, the Chiefs and of course Manawatu, where it all started for me,” he added.
"To have that security for the next three years is exciting and now I'm really able to put my head down and work harder."