Aaron Cruden signs multi-million dollar Montpellier deal

Chiefs and All Black five-eighth Aaron Cruden has signed for Top 14 outfit Montpellier for the 2017/18 season.

The 28-year-old was rumoured to be in talks with French clubs in October prior to the All Blacks leaving for their end of year tour.

"It is with great sadness but also excitement that this will be my last year playing rugby here in New Zealand, representing Manawatu, the Chiefs and also the All Blacks," Cruden said in a video statement.

"The excitement comes with the fact that I've signed a three-year deal in Montpellier in France in a beautiful part of the world, a fantastic rugby club and a real opportunity to go out there and experience something different."

The deal is thought to be worth in the vicinity of NZ$1.19 million per season over three years.

Cruden has 43 caps for New Zealand and will likely replace former Stormers five-eighth Demetri Catrakilis, who moves to Harlequins.

The move will see Cruden join the likes of former Springboks Jannie and Bismarck Du Plessis as well as former Crusader Nemani Nadolo.

Current Scotland coach Vern Cotter is set to take the reigns at the club in June.

According the five-eighth, Cruden will still be available for the British and Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand in June. 

Cruden reportedly turned down an offer from New Zealand Rugby Union at the end of last year.