No grudges for grateful Fruean

Date published: October 29 2014

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Left out by the Chiefs following the return of Sonny Bill Williams, Robbie Fruean is over the matter and thrilled to be a Crusader.

Left out by the Chiefs following the return of Sonny Bill Williams, Robbie Fruean is over the matter and thrilled to be a Crusader.

Fruean was named in the Crusaders’ squad for the new Super Rugby season on Wednesday, returning to the franchise he last played for in 2013.

His time with the Chiefs after the move to Waikato was cut short when it was discovered Fruean required surgery for a heart condition.

“It would be pretty immature of me if I was to hold a grudge,” Fruean told The Press.

“You are always going to have a forgiving heart towards anyone, so I got over it pretty quickly.”

Fully recovered but without a contract, the Crusaders came calling.

“I don’t think anyone saw it coming,” said Fruean.

“The Crusaders got word that I was a free agent and Tabai Matson said he gave Toddy [head coach Todd Blackadder] a call, who was in Japan at the time, and asked if he would be keen and he said he would welcome me with open arms. I was overwhelmed by it all and just grateful.”

Still only 26, Fruean has been through more than your average rugby player but has come out of the experience wiser and stronger.

“It was tough mentally. Physically you are always going to be able to work on things and rectify it but mentally I think I was only starting to come right towards the end of the season with Hawke’s Bay,” stated Fruean.

“I had the heart operation last year and then I had to have another two minor heart surgeries this year, so it was a lot to take in. I don’t think I dealt with it properly at the time. I have learned a lot.”

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