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'We hoped for something else'

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'We hoped for something else' - Montpellier owner weighs in on struggling Cruden

Billionaire Montpellier owner Mohad Altrad is in coach Vern Cotter’s corner despite his side’s struggles both in French and European competition.

However, Altrad recently expressed his disappointment at the club’s marquee signing, former All Black Aaron Cruden.

In an interview with French rugby outlet RugbyRama, Altrad suggested Cruden has failed to deliver since arriving at Montpellier in 2017 on a lucrative three-year deal worth a reported $3.6 million.

“Our outside half, since he’s here, keeps hurting himself,” Altrad said. “This season he has been injured four times. It is difficult for him to be efficient. We hoped for something else.”

Cruden played just one of Montpellier’s six Champions Cup matches – where they failed to get out of the pool – and has only appeared in half of the side’s Top 14 fixtures – where they currently sit ninth.

When asked by RugbyRama if he was satisfied with head coach Vern Cotter, Altrad said “Yes, he is someone who has proved [himself] a lot in Scotland and at Clermont. He brought us to the finals.”

When asked if Cotter was to blame for Montpellier’s poor run of results in recent times, Altrad would not place the blame on his coach.

“Is it his fault if we are penalised thirteen or fourteen times against Edinburgh?”

“Vern Cotter has proven himself and I trust him.”

30-year-old Cruden played 50 tests for the All Blacks between 2010 and 2017, spending time with the Hurricanes and Chiefs in Super Rugby.

Cotter spent time with French club Clermont and was Scotland’s head coach from 2014 to 2017 before taking his current role with Montpellier.

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'We hoped for something else' - Montpellier owner weighs in on struggling Cruden