News that Glasgow Warriors have re-signed club centurion Ruaridh Jackson asks considerable questions of the widespread speculation that All Black Aaron Cruden could be set to move to the PRO14 outfit.
Jackson has signed a new contract with the club until June 2020 and with the option of a further year, subject to medical. That brings to two the number of international flyhalves at their disposal when you count current first choice 10 Adam Hastings.
The club point out that the 31-year-old Jackson is ‘equally comfortable at full-back or fly-half’. Jackson made his 150th appearance for the Warriors earlier this season, becoming the 12th player to reach the milestone when he took to the field in a 42-10 victory away to Zebre.
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Having made his Glasgow debut in October 2006 with a 16-minute cameo against GRAN Rugby Parma, Jackson grabbed the headlines on his starting debut for the Warriors with an impressive performance in a 35-31 defeat to Bath in December 2008.
After enjoying a three-year stint in the English Premiership with Wasps and Harlequins, the Aberdonian re-joined Glasgow ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
Jackson is the 18th player to re-sign with the club this season. In December Hastings signed a new two-year contract with Glasgow Warriors, committing to the Scotstoun club until at least 2021. The fly-half has been in scintillating form so far this season.
Jackson and Hastings’ signings raise the question, do Glasgow really need to fork out a fortune for Aaron Cruden when they have two international flyhalves already on the books?
It is highly unlikely that Glasgow would use Cruden as back-up to the still-developing Hastings, and in Jackson the club will have an able lieutenant during their international windows if the Cruden deal doesn’t go ahead. His move would also beg the question does the SRU want to stall the development of Adam Hastings any longer than they have to?
Added to this, many think the club would better served to invest in more forward firepower rather than a third top-class flyhalf – albeit one of Cruden’s calibre.
Cruden is contracted with Montpellier until summer 2020, but The Scotsman newspaper is speculating there is a 70 percent chance that the New Zealander is poised to become Warriors’ new playmaker.
The newspaper suggests that Cruden, who is on a reported €700,000 per annum at Montpellier, is open to taking a pay cut of approximately €180,000 (his wage would be £400,000 to £450,000). It added that the French club would also not ask for financial compensation despite the 50-cap All Black still having 12 months to run on his Top 14 deal.
Cruden’s inconsistent form and run of injuries have not endeared him to big-spending Mohed Altrad, who is disappointed that his club have struggled to follow up last year’s run to the Top 14 final with another impressive title challenge and an improved Champions Cup effort.
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