Edinburgh coach tight-lipped on Robbie Fruean future

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has refused to confirm or deny reports that star summer signing Robbie Fruean is on the verge of retirement due to health reasons.

Summer signing Robbie Fruean has made only five appearances for Edinburgh and none since early October. Picture: SNS

The 29-year-old Kiwi has had two open heart surgeries since 2007 plus other minor operations after a bout of rheumatic fever as a 19-year-old led to serious complications and required him to receive replacement valves.

Fruean, pictured, arrived from Bath in the summer after passing a strenuous medical but has made only five appearances for Edinburgh and none since 
6 October against Zebre.

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A Sunday newspaper report claimed that further heart complications meant a retirement announcement was imminent but Cockerill said: “I don’t really want to make any comment on that.

“It’s a private matter for Robbie to deal with and when he’s ready to speak about it he will.

“I think it’s in pretty poor taste that it’s reported, to be fair. That’s all I’ve got to say on it at the moment .”

There was good news regarding Mark Bennett as 
Cockerill revealed the Scotland centre, who suffered a cruciate ligament injury in this year’s Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham, is close to making his first appearance for the club.

“I’m hoping Mark will play some part next week [in the European Challenge Cup] against Krasny Yar,” said Cockerill. “He’s looking very sharp and very determined.”