Bath are looking to rebuild under Todd Blackadder this season.
New Bath coach, Todd Blackadder, is looking to raid his former club in a bid to make Bath a force to be reckoned with this season.
Despite reported interest from Leinster, Blackadder has already moved quickly to appoint his former assistant, Tabai Matson, as Bath’s new head coach and is now looking to sign Robbie Fruean from the Crusaders ahead of the new season.
Fruean, who was named as World Rugby under-19 player of the year in 2007, is unlikely to have his contract renewed at the Super Rugby franchise, after the Crusaders recently announced the capture of Digby Ioane and are thought to be interested in signing Jordie Barrett, brother of Beauden.
Although Fruean is known as a powerful player, his career has been stunted by his susceptibility to injury and illness. Shortly after making his breakthrough with Wellington in New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship in 2007, the big centre underwent open-heart surgery for rheumatic fever.
Midway through the 2013 Super Rugby season he was forced to withdraw from the Crusaders squad after being forced to undergo heart surgery. The following year Fruean underwent a second operation, limiting him to just four appearances with the Chiefs.
Fruean then broke broke his arm while playing for the Crusaders against the Chiefs in the third game of the 2015 season. He missed most of the 2016 campaign after tearing his pectoral muscle during pre-season, while illness kept him from running until July.
Nevertheless, according to kiwi news site Stuff, it now seems likely that Blackadder will sign Fruean in time for the new Premiership season.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena