Chiefs sign Mils Muliaina, Robbie Fruean
October 18, 2013
Robbie Fruean will provide a powerful presence in midfield © Getty Images
Mils Muliaina is returning to New Zealand rugby and the Chiefs, the two-time defending Super Rugby champions announcing on Friday they had signed the former franchise skipper from Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes and Robbie Fruean from the Crusaders after failing to lure Sonny Bill Williams back to Hamilton for 2014.
Muliaina, who has played a combined 104 matches for the Blues and the Chiefs, and who played 100 Tests for the All Blacks, the last during Rugby World Cup 2011, said he had enjoyed his time in Japan but he was keen to return to top-level rugby in New Zealand.
Fruean, meanwhile, is back to full exercise training after undergoing heart-valve surgery, and he is set to resume contact work early next year. "I am thankful for the chance to return to rugby at this level and am really looking forward to the Chiefs environment and the beginning of a new and important chapter for me," Fruean said.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said both players were proven talents who would each be a great addition to the squad. "We know the value they will add to our side," he said. "Robbie is big and powerful and Mils is one of the most experienced players in New Zealand rugby."
Muliaina will join the Chiefs in February after the Japanese season, while Fruean will assemble with the squad for pre-season training at the end of November.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action