The Chiefs - 2012 and 2013 Super Rugby champions - have added to their 2014 squad, as they look to become just the second team in Super Rugby history to win a Super Rugby hat-trick.
Block-busting former Hurricanes and Crusaders center Robbie Fruean comes up north to Hamilton, and brings with him a veteran fullback looking to make a comeback, Mils Muliana.
The 33-year-old left New Zealand's shores at the end of New Zealand's successful 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign, to join Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes on a two-year deal. Just the second All Black ever to play 100 tests, Muliana returns to the Chiefs, looking to add to the 104 Super Rugby caps he earned with both the Chiefs and the Auckland-based Blues.
“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,” said Muliana.
Fruean returns to the North Island, following stints with the Hurricanes in Wellingotn and the Crusaders in Christchurch. His debut with the Chiefs will mark his return to Super Rugby, following a heart valve operation.
He is known for his explosive offense, making him one of the most dangerous weapons in Super Rugby. Despite this form, the 25-year-old is yet to make the All Black squad, something a move to the Chiefs could inspire.
“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,” said Fruean.
With Muliana's proven ability to cover center, the moves could suggest that the Chiefs have given up on the race for Ma'a Nonu's signature, as previously mentioned by GMS, which would mean that the Blues are almost certainly going to sign him for next season.
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