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Cruden wants Lions farewell assignment

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017

Aaron Cruden is determined to leave New Zealand rugby on a high as he chases his 50th cap for the All Blacks.

The 28-year-old is heading to France following the completion of the Super Rugby campaign after signing a three-year deal with Montpellier.

However, the Chiefs playmaker would love to face the British and Irish Lions to round off his international career as he currently sits on 47 games for the All Blacks.

"It would be great to head out like that so I will just ride the wave and see what happens," he said.

"I want to play well in Super Rugby and if I don't then I don't expect to be involved in that Lions series.

"I'd like to think I can do that as I've given myself a good off-season and feel refreshed both physically and mentally."

If he fails to achieve that goal the No.10 will have no regrets about leaving New Zealand, having been involved in two All Blacks Rugby World Cup winning sides.

When making his decision to leave, he reflected on his career and he was satisfied with what he had achieved.

"It's going to be sad in six months to head away but it's a decision that comes up for most people during their career of when they need to move on and experience something different."

However, he hasn't ruled out another crack at Super Rugby once he's off contract in France.

"It's always nice to come home and be able to lace the boots up. Stephen Donald has set the standard now so there's no excuses why it can't be done."

Cruden is on the verge of 100 Super Rugby caps since his 2010 debut.

He played 23 games for the Hurricanes and 75 for the Chiefs, playing a pivotal role in their 2012 and 2013 titles.

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