Cruden has said that his night out on the tiles has left him carrying a “burden of shame and disappointment”.

Beating himself up for what would hardly have been a rare occurrence in the sport’s good old days before professional athleticism ruled, the 25-year-old Cruden pleaded a bit pathetically, “I am deeply embarrassed by this lack of judgement and have never been more disappointed in myself. I have not only let myself down but, most importantly, I let my team down. I carry the burden of shame and disappointment and I am deeply apologetic to my team, to my family, and also the New Zealand public.”

But it sounds as if being dropped by coach Steve Hansen for the All Black’s Championship tour matches against the Pumas and South Africa after missing the flight and the subsequent ban for matches against Argentina and the Springboks might not be the end of the story.

Still on his knees, Cruden’s sorry-fest went on, “I have no excuses. I accept full responsibility for my actions and the penalty of missing the next two games, and I will work with New Zealand Rugby to undertake any other disciplinary action to work through this situation.”

How much sorrier Aaron would have been had dwarves and a royal princess been involved doesn’t bear thinking about