As a proud wearer of the black jersey with the silver fern insignia he rattled up 60 appearances for the New Zealand team from his 1996 debut until 2002, and 58 of those were tests.
That he was a phenomenal scoring machine is a matter of fact. He scored 52 tries, 46 of those in test matches, which is the most by any All Black.
That he was quiet on the field and off it are also fact. That he dislikes current All Black coaches John Mitchell and Robbie Deans is a certainty, a point of view he has detailed at length in his just-released biography, Christian Cullen Life on the Run.
Those opinions, which include him saying "I don't want anything to do with Mitchell or Deans ever" and which were picked up by the press prior to the book's release during the early stages of the 2003 Rugby World Cup have, predictably, catapulted the book straight into the number one best-seller slot.
It is already into its second print.
There have been howls of outrage across New Zealand. That such damning criticism of the All Blacks' management should be published as the team does battle across the Tasman Sea is akin to treason for many rugby fans.
The fires of fury were then fanned by a report suggesting the NZRU might look to charge Cullen with bringing the game into disrepute.
Former All Black wing Stu Wilson wrote that Cullen's comments came "just when the team don't need it and to Cullen I'd say: 'Get over it'."
In Australia, the man at the centre of it all, Mitchell, remained his usual tightlipped self when questioned about the player's utterings, his only comment that Cullen was entitled to his opinion.
The timing of the release may have been a cynical ploy by the book's publishers. And there could be a touch of cynicism in the way the book begins with Cullen's attack on the New Zealand coaches and picks up the thread again towards the end.
Because, apart from his anguished ranting over the ending of his seven-year All Black career, the most obvious point to be gleaned from the 200-pages is that Cullen is a nice guy, and, by his own admission "not much of a talker."
"Some people are natural leaders. I'm not."
The book's author, journalist John Matheson, writes: 'Christian knows he is quiet and he knows he is shy. He'll tell you that he hopes that when he has children they will be a little more forthright. 'I'd want them to say a bit more and not sit back.
"I sat back and listened instead of standing up and being heard. Even now, in team meetings, if someone asks a question and I know the answer, I'll still keep to myself. Growing up, at home or at school, I was scared to say things and be wrong so I didn't say anything, I am still like that now."'
Except, it seems, on the manner of being dropped from the All Blacks.
Born into a blue collar family in Paekakariki, 40kms north of Wellington, Cullen lived happily at home with his hard-working parents, the youngest of three children. Rugby was always his passion. Indeed, in an effort to encourage his son to study, Cullen's father told him "you'll never make a living from sport."
Cullen's first taste of the big-time came in 1993 when he was selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools side to play Australia. His side won 32-7 and Cullen was one of the try-scorers. Another player, one Jonah Lomu scored two that day on a team that was to produce nine All Blacks.
The following year Cullen was in the schools team that beat its Australian counterparts 52-5. However, a change in age restrictions meant Cullen became ineligible for the New Zealand Secondary Schools tour to England, Scotland and Wales and he dropped out of school.
'The man that would one day command more than $500,000 from his All Blacks contract started his working life in a bottle store where his responsibilities included customer service, washing floors and lugging crates of merchandise. After a few weeks of that he was working for the Ministry of Works.
"I was the guy that stood on the road with the 'stop' or 'go' sign. A bad day would be working in the snow on the Rimutaka Hills. A nice day was working on the highway extension in Pukerua Bay occasionally you'd get a car full of pretty girls drive by."
But his stint on the roads was a short one. In 1995 he was signed up by the Manawatu union, bestowed with the title of Rugby Development Officer, paid $160 a week and given a place to live.
During that year Cullen burst onto the international scene with some dazzling performances for New Zealand at sevens tournaments in Fiji, Hong Kong and Japan.
A year later he returned to Hong Kong where he 'blitzed the Hong Kong sevens record scoring 18 tries and 136 points at the tournament (including seven tries in one match)'.
He followed that up by scoring three tries in an All Black trial, three tries in his first test, against Samoa, and adding another four against Scotland, his second test outing.
His prodigious talent and seven-year All Black career are well documented in the book, as is his decision to make the move to Munster following the collapse of his dreams to represent his country at the current World Cup.
The change of scenery will hopefully put some spark back into the step of the former All Black who has struggled with fluctuating form for much of the 2003 season. According to the book, Munster coach Alan Gaffney is positive about his big-name signing.
'Rugby is a white-collar game in Ireland, but not in Munster. Limerick and Cork the two towns that dominate the province are blue collar.
With his (Cullen's) Paekakariki roots, he will feel right at home. The expectations of the supporters will also remind him of home. They will be supportive "He will be hero-worshipped, says Gaffney but they will also demand performance.
"I wouldn't want it any other way," says Christian. "That's why I have signed a three-year deal with the club. They are progressive and they want to win. I know that I still have a lot of good rugby left in me and I want to perform on the biggest stage possible.
"If you can't go to war for your country, the next best thing is to pull on that black jersey and play a test for your country. I have done that and I have had fun doing it. But that phase of my life is over. And I am okay with that.
"My loyalty is now with Munster. They want to win a European Cup and I want to help them achieve that. There will be pressure on me to perform and that's great. If I wanted to play out my career and have no pressure I would have signed for a Japanese club.
"But I am much more ambitious than that. I still have things I want to achieve in the game and I feel like I am on the verge of an exciting new time in life and my career. It's like a rebirth."
But something of an agonising one, according to his book.
If the axing of Cullen from the All Black squad to face England, Wales and France was big news midway through the 2003 season, it was as if a bombshell had been dropped when, on July 3, Munster announced its signing of the former All Black superstar.
'Many fans woke up and heard the news delivered by Radio Sports' host Martin Devlin. "It was like there had been a death," he says. "People were grieving. People wanted to talk about their memories of him. They wanted to say that they appreciated him.
What a damn shame. It was the vibe "There are few issue that cause a truly nationwide reaction. This was one of them.
The response was overwhelming. Christian was a debatable issue at the time when it came to All Blacks selection. It wasn't as though the All Blacks fan base was prepared to go on strike because he wasn't in the team.
"But it did seem such an obvious choice that when Leon (MacDonald) was injured they would bring Christian Cullen back into the team. When they didn't there was a perception that it had to do with something other than his ability.
"And people were angry about that. We know that because several very good players have gone overseas Josh Kronfeld, for example but nothing seemed to capture the attention of the public like Christian's announcement. There was a lot of anger there from the public."
The chapter details further reaction of New Zealanders to Cullen's imminent departure.
'Correspondence flooded into newspaper offices throughout the land but none more so than in Wellington where the Dominion Post was inundated. The overload of e-mails and letters was so great that the newspaper devoted more than half a page to messages from fans.'
"People talk about six degrees of separation," says Devlin. "In New Zealand, in rugby, it's more like two degrees so when you have a guy that has contributed so much to the game then there is certainly a school of thought that you almost know him because someone you know does.
"We'd all watched Christian for eight years. We've watched him grow up in front of us. So the feelings were strong"
Strong across both hemispheres. Gaffney is quoted as saying: "The level of interest when the announcement was made was massive. It was euphoric. That situation still applies. And so it should. We have signed a superstar.
"And that's not a phrase you just throw around. He has earned it. I wouldn't query what the All Blacks coaches are doing but I cannot believe for a second that Christian is only the fourth of fifth best fullback in New Zealand. He is a genuine superstar and he's coming to play for us."
'As the Irish celebrated and New Zealanders mourned, John Hart sought a one-on-one meeting with his former player. "I wanted to remind him," Hart says, "that he is too young to be farewelled.
"When you farewell a player it normally means that player is past his best. Christian isn't. He's still a young man. Yes, his knee injury in 2001 obviously restricted him but he was, in my view, the best fullback in Super 12.
"He had a super year. And so it is far too young to be farewelling Christian Cullen. I wanted to tell him that my hope for him is that he goes to Munster and stars.
"I would hate to see Christian go over there and just become a player and use it as a way to finish his career. His is still good enough to shine. He is good enough to show people that he is world class"'
CULLEN'S last stand in New Zealand was played out last Saturday when he appeared for Wellington in the NPC final. It was not to be a winning swansong for Cullen however, Auckland eventually cruising to a 41-29 victory.
But the former All Black fullback made his mark on the match, signing off with two tries, the first one a moment of pure Cullen magic, a seemingly effortless glide through the defence close to the Auckland line. New Zealand's loss, he seemed to be signalling, is about to be Munster's gain.
Courtesy of Heather Kidd.