Fruean refreshed and hopeful
Rugby star Robbie Fruean was back in Porirua for a fleeting visit last week, handing out the shield that bears his name at a junior tournament. Kris Dando caught up with him.
What’s it like being back in Porirua?
I’m only here two days, but it’s great. I love being back. I played some flag football with friends, and doing that with the raw talent we have in Porirua was cool. It reignites me; I always learn something.
So the recovery [after heart surgery curtailed his Super Rugby season in July] is going well, then?
It’s coming along. I had my operation more than four months ago and started training again three months later.
I’m into training and doing weights, have a pretty good programme in place. Pre- season training with the Chiefs starts November 28 and it’s really about building up my fitness and strength from then.
Speaking of the Chiefs, how did that come about?
The opportunity came up and I’ve taken it.
I’ve seen what the coaches have done there and can’t wait to be involved. They’ve got a base to build on and to keep up that success.
The Crusaders have been massive, but it was time for me to go.
Will you move permanently to Hamilton?
I’m still thinking it over. It’s a one-year deal and do or die for me, so I’m more focused on the training that’s coming up.
Do you still see yourself at centre? Andrew Horrell, Charlie Ngatai, Tim Nanai-Williams and the returning Mils Muliaina make it tough at the Chiefs to get a midfield spot.
Yeah, there is a challenge in front of me, but a good challenge. I see myself as a centre, but if they want me on the wing or at second-five, then that’s where I’ll play. I just want to be playing rugby.
Do you still harbour ambitions of becoming an All Black?
Definitely. I’m 25, I’ve got heaps of time, but my goal is to be in the squad for the World Cup in 2015.
It would be awesome to represent my country.
With training and a fitness regime, will you get much of a chance to enjoy summer?
I will do a bit of relaxing. For me it’s about spending time with family, before getting back into it all. I think we’ll have some time away. Not sure where yet.
What do you miss most about Porirua?
My friends and family. The mates you grew up with, went to school with, can never be replaced. And my family’s support is priceless. You can’t get through life without them. That’s what I miss most when I’m away.
Do you still get embarrassed having a Porirua rugby trophy named after you?
To be here to witness these kids playing for the Fruean Shield is a blessing, and on Porirua Park now, too [finals day was formerly at Holy Family School]. I never got to play on Porirua Park when I was a kid.