Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aaron Cruden destined for greatness after battling cancer

Young Kiwi flyhalf Aaron Cruden is a huge talent with an inspirational story. The Manawatu player was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer last year, but has since come back to lead his country’s Under 20 side to victory at the Junior World Cup.

Cruden not only captained the side, but was later named IRB Junior Player of the Year 2009 for his outstanding form throughout the tournament. He has since captained Manawatu in the Air New Zealand Cup, at the age of 20.

Last season Cruden appeared for the Turbos, but in August his dreams were seemingly shattered as he was diagnosed with cancer, having a testicle removed then undergoing an intensive course of chemotherapy.

Cruden battled back, and in November, he was given the all clear. The first thing he did to celebrate was pick up a rugby ball and head to a field for a kick around.

Since making his return, the plaudits have been plentiful, as he’s already been recognised as a possible successor to the Dan Carter throne. NZ Under-20 and Manawatu coach Dave Rennie rates him extremely highly.

"He was the best first-five in Manawatu last year as well but he had only just turned 19 so we were pretty keen to give him time off the bench in the first part of the competition.

"He started in the Shield challenge against Auckland but then sickness ruled him out, otherwise he would have played a little bit more at this level already. He's very confident and very competent and he's already had three years of senior club rugby and he's probably been the best player in all of those three years."

"There was a lot of hype around his performances and it's a pretty good story. A lot of people wanted to talk about the fact he'd come back from cancer.

"He was pretty quick to put it to bed. It was a fantastic achievement but he's pretty keen to prove himself at the next level and if he wants to go higher in the game he needs to perform at provincial level,” Rennie said.

He’s already impressed in this season’s tournament, scoring a few tries and sparking the Manawatu backline, showing that he’s now put the setback behind him and grown as a player, but also as an individual.

"It hasn't so much changed my outlook on life," Cruden said. "But it has on challenges that you face throughout life. A lot of people may have looked at it as a negative. But I believe it will make me stronger as a person."

Remember the name Aaron Cruden. You're sure to see a whole lot more of him in the future.

Time: 03:41



  • For men with odd shaped balls!

    By Anonymous ToddTheClutchClever, at August 25, 2009 5:23 pm  

  • that England NZ game was amazing, great rugby from NZ.

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at August 25, 2009 5:34 pm  

  • WOW!!! What a chappy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 25, 2009 5:57 pm  

  • Shut it ToddTheClutchClever you ignorant ****

    By Anonymous Yea im anonymous, at August 25, 2009 7:33 pm  

  • What are you, 13, Yea im anonymous? I thought the joke was pretty funny.

    Anyways, great to see him come back from that like it didn't phase him at all.

    By Anonymous Belgianwaffle, at August 25, 2009 8:41 pm  

  • Did they have to actually announce he had one removed? o.O

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 25, 2009 9:28 pm  

  • yeah he might of recovered from cancer and won IRB junior sports star of the year but hes not a patch on ROG lmao!!

    only joking hope to hear more of him in the future seems like a good lad wouldnt mind him starting on the senior team instead of donald but ah sure what can ya do!!

    By Anonymous creggs08, at August 25, 2009 10:38 pm  

  • hahahah awesome joke todd you should get a medal!!
    shut your pie whole 'yea im anonymous' get a real name!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 25, 2009 11:43 pm  

  • As a one balled wonder myself I liked the joke from 'ToddTheClutchClever', so zap it 'Yea im anonymous'. Humour is the best medicine,............ that and a whole lot of chemo.

    The hardest thing from my point of view was the weight loss. For a professional to regain their fitness and correct weight after that needs applauding. Me I'm still a lazy shit however.

    Now at least the ABs won't have to rely on Donald if anything happens Carter again.

    By Anonymous Huh the 3rd!!, at August 26, 2009 12:11 am  

  • I was there at the game in Tokyo and TRUST me, he's got it all going for him bro, gonna be bigger than Carter!!

    By Anonymous Alex, at August 26, 2009 1:57 am  

  • Reminds me of Lance Armstrong's story. Something about cancer teaches you about pain tolerance. Good for him.

    I've lost too many people in my family to cancer - it's just too difficult to laugh about.

    By Blogger Crosser, at August 26, 2009 2:30 am  

  • Hopefully as a former cancer sufferer he'll relish life and live it to its fullest, rather than being an ignorant prick like O'Gara or Cipriani.

    Does anybody know the commentator's name by the way? And what programme and channel it is? I think it might be Cathal O'Shannon, but I'm not sure.

    By Anonymous Kearney for tests, at August 26, 2009 2:57 am  

  • Kearney For Tests, that was on Total Rugby.. not sure of the persons name though.

    Cruden looks to be pure class. Seen a bit of him for Manawatu already this season and he's playing well. He charged down a Jimmy Cowan kick last weekend, which will have peed off the grumpy bugger to no end.

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at August 26, 2009 9:58 am  

  • ive watched him play in the NPC and hes showing class for a youngster.

    buuuut DESTINED for greatness?

    rugbydump may have a wee bet on this fella :P lol

    By Anonymous B, at August 26, 2009 1:35 pm  

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