Cruden faces battle to regain All Blacks spot

Aaron Cruden will have a fight on his hands to win back the New Zealand fly-half shirt, according to assistant coach Ian Foster. [more]

Cruden faces battle to regain All Blacks spot

Aaron Cruden will have a fight on his hands to win back the New Zealand fly-half shirt, according to assistant coach Ian Foster.

The All Blacks, who host the British & Irish Lions in 2017, suspended Cruden for the recent Tests against Argentina and South Africa after he missed a team flight.

The 25-year-old has been recalled to the squad for this weekend’s clash against arch-rivals Australia but, in his absence, Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade have filled in admirably at No.10.

And although Cruden’s indiscretions will not be held against him, Foster insists the playmaker has put himself behind the eight-ball.

“As far as we're concerned Cruden has done his time so we move on, but in the All Black environment it's one thing to do your time but you also give someone else an opportunity,” Foster told Radio Sport.

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“Beaudy has had a couple of starts and we think he's done a pretty good job of it, so Aaron is going to have to come in and train well and train hard and just knuckle down and get back into the system.

“He hasn't played a game of rugby for three or four weeks so there's the physical side of it and the mental side.

“He has to come to terms with what we've actually done for the last couple of test matches since he's been away. He'll go back to a learning curve.

“And I'm sure that Beaudy will be pretty keen on progressing on the two starts that he's had so it's going to be pretty good competition.

“The likes of Sladey have also been very impressive in our environment – I've been very impressed with how Sladey has settled in and handled a lot of different jobs.

“He's got a skill-set that also complements Beaudy and Aaron in terms of off the bench.”

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