05 May 2020
In the second of a five-part series on players he'd pay to watch, GRAEME PEACOCK looks at former All Blacks fullback Christian Cullen.
Christian Cullen in full flow was absolutely majestic. The Paekakariki Express was a pure joy to watch and there was no better sight in the game than him in space or hitting the line at pace.
Cullen, who debuted in 1996 for the All Blacks, scored an incredible 46 tries in 58 Tests, placing him behind only winger Doug Howlett (49) on New Zealand's all-time list.
The fullback got his Test career off to the perfect start when scoring a hat-trick against Samoa in a 51-10 victory at McLean Park in Napier. A week later, he crossed the tryline four times in a 62-31 victory against Scotland.
Cullen started all three Tests in New Zealand’s first-ever series victory in South Africa in 1996 and was exceptional on that tour.
The New Zealander is regarded as the best No 15 to have played the game. He had pace and a superb sidestep and there was always tries galore when he was on the paddock.
With wingers Jonah Lomu and Jeff Wilson, Cullen was a key part of probably the deadliest back three ever to play Test rugby.