New Zealand All-Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden has been ruled out of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Chiefs’ 26-9 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday night.
Cruden looked in a great deal of pain when his knee collapsed in the second half of the Super Rugby fixture and scans revealed that the talented five-eight would require surgery on his knee that would rule him out of rugby for at least six months.
“Aaron Cruden has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament on his left knee,” The Chiefs said in a statement.
“He will see a surgeon on Wednesday to arrange a knee reconstruction in the coming weeks.
“Traditional reconstruction surgery has been deemed to be the most appropriate given Aaron’s young age and long-term career prospects.
“The expected return to play time for this sort of surgery is six months.”
The injury means that Cruden will not have the chance to win a second straight Rugby World Cup following his miraculous rise to glory during the tournament four years ago.
Cruden was not included in the original New Zealand squad for the World Cup, but he was called into the squad following a groin injury to Dan Carter and he was able to lead the All Blacks to their second World Cup triumph when Colin Slade was injured during the quarter-finals.
Dan Carter is likely to be given the first opportunity at fly-half for the All Blacks in the lead-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but the All Blacks legend has not been in great form during the 2015 Super Rugby season and the likes of Colin Slade and Beauden Barrett could also been given the opportunity to wear the number 10 jersey for New Zealand at the World Cup.
The All Blacks start their World Cup defense against Argentina at Wembley Stadium on September 20 and will also play Namibia, Georgia and Tonga during the pool stages before they likely progress to a quarter-final in Wales on October 17.
New Zealand are currently available at 2015 Rugby World Cup odds of $2.25 with Ladbrokes.com.au and they are clear favourites from England ($5), South Africa ($5.50), Ireland ($9) and Australia ($10).
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