Author(s): John Matheson
Christian Cullen: Life on the Run is the story of one of the world's greatest rugby players. From the time Christian Cullen burst onto the international stage in 1996 until his controversial axing as All Blacks fullback in 2003, he has been loved and admired by rugby fans all over the world. It wasn't just for his extraordinary talents and try scoring abilities that the public of New Zealand took 'Cully' to heart. Throughout his illustrious career he remained at all times the archetypal, old-fashioned Kiwi boy-next-door. The pride with which he represented New Zealand at both fifteens and sevens shines through in Christian Cullen: Life on the Run. So, too, does his reverence for the black jersey of the world's pre-eminent rugby team. Christian Cullen broke so many records in New Zealand rugby that even statisticians had trouble keeping up with his feats at international and provincial level. In the history of All Black test rugby, he is their greatest try-scorer. On the international alltime list he rates third. Christian Cullen was never an attention-seeker. Whether it was scoring three tries on his All Blacks debut, or turning the Hong Kong Sevens upside down, Cullen was always self-effacing. He loved rugby... and rugby loved him. It is with some sadness then, that Cullen, for the first time, opens up about his exit from the All Blacks. The revelations about his time under All Blacks coach John Mitchell make for totally compelling reading. Finally, the uneasy relationship between Cullen and Mitchell and his assistant coach, Robbie Deans, are aired publicly. A nation mourned when Cullen got the 'Don't Come Saturday' message from the All Blacks selectors. In Christian Cullen: Life on the Run Cullen gives his side of the story - a story that fuelled as much controversy as the sacking of Buck Shelford did in 1990. Christian Cullen remains a remarkable player. The tragedy for New Zealand fans is that in this professional age - and at just 27 - Cully is leaving the country to ply his trade with the Irish club Munster. New Zealand's loss is Ireland's gain.