The fact that at 27 seven years of age he has already been capped 58 times by the All Blacks says it all about a player regarded as a legend in world rugby. His decision to move to Munster has caused a huge reaction at home and abroad, with New Zealander's disappointment assuaged somewhat by his choice of destination.
We carry some comments that have come in from down south and down under:
Hugh Dudgeon. Wellington, New Zealand outs his feelings into rhyme with
POETRY IN MOTION
Cully is a wonder, we love to see him play. How can they claim to us that he has had his day
But now they have replaced him and all they do is smirk. The nation tries to tell them that this will never work. Well we believe in Cully, we know what he can do The new boys lack his knowledge to stop 'em breaking through.
We hear a lot of double speak and use of silly words But we believe they've lost the plot and qualify as nerds.
We put them in to win the cup and they claim they have a plan but we believe they never will unless they have our man.
So rue the day you silly twits when you decided NO Good luck to our great Cully and off to Munster go.
We know you'll have a smashing time and show them how you play You can cock a snook at Mitchell on each and every day. While he is on his journey with his chosen band of men. If he does not hit the jackpot we will ask of him what then ?
He and Robbie won't be welcomed home if the cup is not secured The fans remember silly words from Mitch that they have heard. Their excuses will be laughed at and in our hearts we will be sure That if they had just played Cully it would not be all manure.
We know that in his heart of hearts our Christian will be fair Cheering on the AB's even though he wont be there. A tear may well in Christian's eye though it will not be seen And we doubt he'll send a Christmas card to Mitchell or to Deans
The Panel - First of all congratulations on your successful recruiting of the services of the world's premier fullback - Mr Christian Cullen. We are writing this email to you on behalf of group of highly esteemed (and self proclaimed) predominantly New Zealand rugby experts who call themselves 'The Panel'. While it will be good for Christian to play for a club with such great history (any club that has beaten the All Blacks can lay claim to having great history), we are concerned that his services will now be lost to All Black Rugby. As a solution we propose to carry out a direct swap where by you take Leon McDonald instead. If you would be so kind as to accept this offer we would throw in Caleb Ralph for free as an act of good will.
Gary Choat wrote: Thought you'd like to know that Cullen's move to Munster has been all the talk on New Zealand radio today. I'm a huge fan of his & also the Hurricanes & Wellington rugby teams. I cannot understand why he has not been selected for any All Black team this year. The Munster club can only benefit from having such a great player in their ranks.
Scott Renner - Hey I'm from Wellington and I think it is great Christian Cullen is heading your way. I feel he has been so mistreated by the NZRFU and John Mitchell and their loss is your gain, good on you. You dont treat a player like Christian Cullen the way the NZRFU has. He played bloody well for the Hurricanes. He is a bloody good player and way better to have in the AB than Calab Ralph. But there is some bad feelings I believe between John Mitchell and Christian Cullen. But Mitchell should pull his head in and pick the best players for the team. So good on him for heading your way.
Perhaps the resolve that Alan Gaffney needed was this message on MunsterRugby.ie
Dear Alan I do solemnly swear, ...that if you can come back from your holliers with Christian Cullen tucked under your arm, to buy not just one new Munster jersey, complete with Bambi, but one for the missus too. In fact if it'd help pay that wage bill, then send me the catalogue... ...just don't you dare come back empty-handed!"
And Gaffney didn't disappoint, the deal done and the goodwill messages pouring in.
"What a signing! The biggest try scorer in ABs test history, most tries in super 12- Excellent."
"Even though Latham is being picked by Aus currently, I think Cullen is a better bet and I would prefer to have him, as the competition for the NZ backline is higher than in Aus and I think Cullen is a proven winner in tight match situations. latham's mentality is often questioned."
"I think Cullen will help Munster hugely because of, 1. His pace, finishing and clinical AB killer mentality. 2. His versatility around the backline. 3. His preparation and mentoring of other young Munster backs such as Staunton, ROG, etc"
"I know some of the French sides have bought in huge strength as well as Leicester and others, but with Cullen on board, Munster won't be far off the mark when the HC final comes around. excellent, truly excellent."
"One thing is for sure even a Cullen without the yard of pace is a better player than Chris Latham who's lack of pace off the mark was shown up terribly in the English game, no doubt about it Munster's patience has paid off."
"Congratulations to Munster. As more and more time goes by and speaking as a Leinster fan, Alan Gaffney looks a bigger and bigger loss. His signing though is a real shot in the arm for all Irish Rugby and a reflection of our increased standing. Lets hope one of the provinces can win the European cup this year"
"As a fanatical Wellington and Hurricanes fan I am obviously gutted that CC has been forced to look elsewhere for his rugby. Good on yah Munster, your gain is our loss.."
"Will be following his (and the teams) fortunes from afar. I like your team kit (that's made in NZ as well) and looking at getting one of the new ones. "
"About 4 million Kiwis are gutted! The only one out of step with that sentiment is John Mitchell - but all the best Munster as you appreciate the guy and deserve his talents. Best of luck we will watch Christian and the team's fortunes from back here. You owe NZ'ers a pint o' Guiness to be sure, to be sure."
"I can already hear the chants of Christo! Christo!
"What a signing? How can New Zealand let a guy like this go?"
"what a legend signing it will give our backline a new flair and push then forward to perform as the back line did in the 2000 -2001 season ..can be nothing but good for the Munster backline.."
"It's amazing, the guy's not even arrived yet and we all love him already. Can't wait to see him in action. Does anyone know when he's starting, cause I read somewhere he's not arriving till the end of the year....I hope it's not that late though...."
"I can see Cullen crossing the line against Stade/Perpignon/Leicester/Toulouse in HC final already......" Better still is the space he will create for Hoggy and Kelly, Lane and the new signing on the wing. Great signing. "
"Well done to all involved. Another great signing to add to an impressive squad. This morning the new jersey could be a pink strip with purple spots and a picture of Neil Back for a new crest and I don't think anyone would care. Congratulations. By the way the new crest is not completely unfortunate looking either!"
"Well done Alan Gaffney and the management team and the munster team and supporters. A player with the credibility of cullen coming to us speaks volumes as to how we are seen in the game . Very good signings by munster shrewd to say the least with payne and pusey . irish links nice one. great for the Irish Game . What a squad we can boast now."
"Yeah, huge signing for Munster, and I have no doubt that Christian will be given a huge welcome by the Munster Branch, players and fans when he arrives. He will also really enjoy the experience, and "unique" atmosphere of a packed Thomond Park. Big statement of intent by Munster in the quest to win the Heineken Cup"
"Just wana say congrats to Munster, your getting one of the best players in the world, IM still in a state of shock as i am from wellington and the things i have to say about john mitchell i cannot say in here. Completely unprofessional coach though his letting personal thoughts of cully interfere with picking the best squad for new zealand. So just Go Hard Cully and show mitch what he's missed out on, so maybe he'll stand aside as AB's coach so the can bring back Laurie or John."
"feckin brilliant news about cullen,what a lift for all players and fans in munster. just saw the logo and gear,personally i think they look good.anyway dont really matter what u put cullen in........yesss"
The above are just some of the hundreds of messages that were submitted. To read more just go to our messageboard