22 Jun 2009

Aaron Cruden has been named IRB Player of thr Year

6:29 am on 22 June 2009

The New Zealand Under 20 captain Aaron Cruden has been named the International Rugby Board Player of the Year after guiding his team to a second successive IRB Junior World Championship.

Cruden scored two tries and created another three as New Zealand beat England 44-28 in the final in Tokyo.

His composure, vision and inspirational leadership of a new-look squad saw him claim the award ahead of team-mate Winston Stanley, the England number 8 Carl Fearns and the Australian halfback Richard Kingi.

Another New Zealander, Luke Braid, won last year and previous winners Isaia Toeava, Jerome Kaino and Luke McAlister have all gone on to play for the All Blacks.

Coach Dave Rennie says Cruden's a very special player who was very good in the semi-final win over Australia and sensational against England.