Edinburgh's Fruean forced to retire
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Powerhouse Edinburgh centre Robbie Fruean is set to call time on his career on medical grounds – according to reports.
Fruean has a well-documented history of heart problems and has undergone open heart surgery twice. The 29-year-old had the valve of a pig implanted, and latterly one from a cow, which allows his heart to beat normally.
While Edinburgh have yet to comment officially on his retirement, Richard Cockerill and the club had previously signed him in the knowledge that his health could become a factor while at the club.
Speaking in September, Cockerill said: “You have to understand that where we are as a club at the moment. We’re probably not first off the rank when people are choosing clubs to come to, so we have to take a little bit of a risk on some players. Robbie’s injury history isn’t perfect, but we’ll look after him, we’ll get him fit, and we’ve done that over the last few weeks to get him on the field.”
“His heart condition is an ongoing bigger-picture thing that needs to be exactly right.”
The former World Rugby U19 Player of the Year joined from English Premiership side Bath, where he was recruited by his former Canterbury coach and Edinburgh great Todd Blackadder.
The centre made 66 appearances for Super Rugby’s most successful side, Crusaders, over two stints and amassed 70 points through 14 tries for the Canterbury-based side. He has also made appearances for New Zealand Super Rugby franchises Hurricanes and Chiefs.
His move to the northern hemisphere followed a two-year stint at Hawke’s Bay, where he crossed the whitewash on nine occasions in 25 appearances.
A mainstay in Canterbury’s domestic campaigns between 2010-13, he finished his first season as the competition’s joint top try-scorer (10) in 2010 and was named as ITM Cup Player of the Year in 2012.
Canterbury won the NPC title each season Fruean was involved with his contribution of 20 tries proving highly influential to his side’s success.
He has also played for Wellington in New Zealand’s premier domestic competition and scored five tries in 12 appearances for the North Island outfit.