Aaron Cruden says he has let himself and the All Blacks down and will accept any further sanctions beyond his two-Test axing.
A remorseful Aaron Cruden says he will accept any further punishment for his All Blacks flight no-show but has shed no light on the reason for his drunken gaffe.
Cruden issued a statement following his dropping from the All Blacks tour to Argentina and South Africa after he missed the team’s flight out of Auckland on Sunday.
He confirmed he had drunk too much, but didn’t outline what happened after he and several teammates enjoyed an evening at an Auckland pub.
“I made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake,” Cruden said.
“I am deeply embarrassed by this lack of judgment and have never been more disappointed in myself. I have not only let myself down, but most importantly, I have let my team down.
“I carry the burden of shame and disappointment and I am deeply apologetic to my team, to my family, and also the New Zealand public.”
Cruden, 25, is likely to face a formal New Zealand Rugby hearing once all details of the evening have been ascertained.
NZR chief executive Steve Tew says he spoke to Cruden on Sunday but didn’t yet know the circumstances about how he had missed the 10.30am flight.
Cruden says he has no excuses and will accept whatever further sanctions are handed down.
“I will work with New Zealand Rugby to undertake any other disciplinary action to work through this situation,” he said.
“I have been working really hard over the past few years at gaining respect on the field as well as off the field and am devastated I have dropped my own high personal standards, as well as the standards set by New Zealand Rugby.”
It is unclear if Cruden will play NPC rugby for Manawatu over coming weeks to remain match-fit for a possible return to Test rugby, against Australia in Brisbane on October 18.