Dave Rennie could be about to ramp up his Glasgow Warriors squad for next season with the signing of a former All Black who has struggled to fit in so far on the European scene.
Aaron Cruden is contracted with Montpellier until summer 2020, but The Scotsman newspaper is speculating there is a 70 per cent chance that the New Zealander is poised to become Warriors’ new playmaker.
The 2015 PRO12 champions lost the well-established Finn Russell to Racing 92 at the start of this season and while young Adam Hastings has demonstrated glimpses of his potential, none more so than his role in the defeat of Leinster in Dublin last Saturday, Rennie is apparently on the look-on for a more experienced operator in the all-important No10 role.
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.
Good to see this @SundayTimesScot story from March 3 still hasn’t gone away. Elements of bringing in Cruden would give you pause, but there’s no doubt it would be a significant statement of intent from Glasgow pic.twitter.com/kSq91kx4tS
— Mark Palmer (@MarkPalmerST) April 10, 2019
Montpellier are currently ninth in the league, although some recent wins have helped close the gap on sixth place Bordeaux to five points, while they were knocked out of Europe in January with a surprise loss at Edinburgh.
Cruden, who has appeared in just 10 of Montpellier’s 22 league game this season, has been plying his trade in France since 2017 and was linked to a switch to Todd Blackadder’s Bath as recently as January.
Twenty-four of his All Black caps came off the bench, his Test chances stymied at first by Dan Carter and then by Beauden Barrett.
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