JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

No fears as Cruden fills in for Carter

Date

Toby Robson

"I think, coming in now I'm a lot more relaxed" ... Aaron Cruden of the All Blacks.

"I think, coming in now I'm a lot more relaxed" ... Aaron Cruden of the All Blacks. Photo: Phil Walter

HAMILTON: Aaron Cruden will neither share nor shake New Zealand's nerves when he slips into Dan Carter's boots tomorrow.

It's in stark contrast to the mood eight months ago when there was pandemonium across the Tasman at what might happen to a Carter-less All Blacks.

Since then Cruden has matured, with a World Cup win and a sparkling season with the Chiefs smoothing furrowed brows.

Six changes to the All Blacks side, including the absence of Carter and No.8 Kieran Read, will give Ireland hope, but they will not see Cruden as a weak link.

''When I first came in, I was really nervous,'' the 23-year-old said yesterday after being named to start at five-eighth for the third and final Test against Ireland.

''I changed a lot of my techniques and routines in the way I approached things, because I didn't want to not note everything down or miss something and let the team down.

''I think, coming in now, I'm a lot more relaxed. I'm stuck in my routine that's been working for me for the last couple of years.

''I'm just doing that no matter what team I'm playing for, whether it's Manawatu, or the Chiefs, or the All Blacks.''

What a contrast to the man who made a nervy first Test start against Australia in Sydney in 2010, replaced after 61 minutes as the All Blacks scraped home 23-22.

It seems a lifetime ago. Cruden stepped up during the 20-6 World Cup semi-final win over the Wallabies and has not looked back.

Significantly, Cruden's fourth start in 10 Tests will be the first time he has taken goal-kicking duties into an international. He puts his Super Rugby success - he's running at 82 per cent this season - down to less practice.

''In past years, I've been almost goal-kicking every day and, if it wasn't really working, I'd try and change something … it seemed to make it worse,'' he said. ''This year, I've just relaxed about it and I'm set in my technique and it seems to be going over the sticks.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
Featured advertisers