Rugby: Muliaina, Fruean sign with Chiefs

Mils Muliaina. Photo / Richard Robinson.
Mils Muliaina. Photo / Richard Robinson.

Former All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina will make a dramatic return to New Zealand rugby with the Chiefs next season.

Muliaina, who played 100 tests for the All Blacks in his eight years at the top level, has been signed from Japanese club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, for whom he has played for two seasons.

The 33-year-old will cover fullback, midfield and the wing.

Muliaina said: "I have really enjoyed my time in Japan playing for a great company, NTT Docomo but I am grateful for the opportunity to play Super Rugby again in New Zealand for another team that I am passionate about.''

Muliaina began his career at the Blues, but finished it at the Chiefs, a franchise which has won two titles in his absence.

The Chiefs have also signed former Crusaders centre Robbie Fruean, who recently had heart surgery.

A Chiefs' statement said Fruean, 25, had returned to full exercise training and was on track to return to contact training and playing in early 2014.

"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: "Mils and Robbie are both proven talents and top men. We know the value they will add to our side. Robbie is big and powerful and Mils is one of the most experienced players in New Zealand rugby so both are great additions to our squad.''

- APNZ

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