Star Taranaki first five-eighth Beauden Barrett will miss tomorrow's Ranfurly Shield challenge against Hawke's Bay after being called into the All Blacks squad to face Argentina.
Barrett is likely to come on to the bench for the All Blacks after Dan Carter withdrew with a calf injury.
His place in Taranaki's starting line-up has been taken by James Marshall.
Carter is understood to have been struggling with the injury all week, but only withdrew after being named at first five eighth this morning.
''Dan has been carrying a tight left calf this week, but had been hopeful of playing,'' All Black coach Steve Hansen said. ''However, at training this morning it was apparent he would not be able to play. We have done the sensible thing and withdrawn him from the team.''
The injury continues a bad run for Carter in the Capital with the last time he prepared for a test ending with the groin injury that sensationally cut short his Rugby World Cup campaign last year.
Carter tweeted a photo of his injured left calf in a compression sleeve at 12.25pm with the caption: "Not having much luck in Wellington when I'm here with the AB's #tightcalf."
Cruden's elevation will be a popular one in many quarters with the Chiefs pivot in blinding form this year.
Last time Cruden started a test match he played a sublime 24 minutes before injuring a leg during a 60-0 June thrashing of Ireland in Hamilton.
Since then he's been restricted largely to training as Carter has reasserted himself as the world's premier No 10.
Cruden even managed to look sharp during his nine minutes of game time at the end of the 22-0 drubbing of the Wallabies in Auckland two weeks ago.
It will be Cruden's 13th test since his debut, but just his fifth start.
Injury to his rivals continues to provide opportunity for the 23-year-old to prove his international credentials.
Cruden's stocks have risen steadily since he was called into the World Cup squad as cover ahead of last year's quarterfinal against the Pumas in Auckland.
He replaced Colin Slade during that match and then continued on through the semifinal and final.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Lionel Richie and John Farnham are set to tour New Zealand next year.
As soon as December rolls around, we know it's time to get real about Christmas.
Lhani Voyle said it didn't take long to find her calling.
An Okaiawa man believes his infant grandson's life was put in jeopardy.
Pukekura Park's neighbouring residents say hooliganism is rife within its boundaries at night.
Should ratepayers fork out for increased security to keep vandals at bay in Pukekura Park?Related story: Cameras set to catch vandals
Get your mid week news fix
Get your South Taranaki news online
with Rachel Stewart
with Gordon Brown
Matt Rilkoff's perspective of contemporary life
With Kathryn Calvert
The self-confessed bard of Brixton, offers views on life, politics and Akubra hats.
with Glenn McLean