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Fruean takes big step with Bath

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    17 Jan 2017     Getty Images

The former Crusaders, Canterbury and Hawke's Bay centre also picked up a try in the game.

It had been intended by coaches Todd Blackadder and Tabai Matson, that Fruean, who played at second five-eighths, would come off midway through the second half. But his centres partner Jonathan Joseph started to cramp up so Fruean realised he might not get the call.

Fruean told the Bath Chronicle, "It was a big ask as it was the first 80 minutes I've played in about two years, so it's been a long time coming, but it was actually good to get it under my belt.

"I wanted to get it out of the way so I can move forward from here and with the try I was just happy that Fordy [first five-eighths George Ford] saw I was available and just popped it to me."

Fruean said playing in a backline with Kahn Fotuali'i at halfback, Ford at first five-eighths, Joseph beside him in the centres and with Semesa Rokoduguni and Anthony Watson on the wings made life easier.

"I'm able to do the things that they were asking me to do and just provided them with good front foot ball so they could free the backs out wid.

"Rocco and Anthony are just speed on the outside, so you need to release them, and it was good."

Fruean said he didn't mind being used closer to the forwards and his role didn't really change in either midfield position.

"The only thing that changes is the defensive reads around making sure that you're not getting caught on the inside and that you are covering your centre," he said.

Bath's prospects in Pool 4 of the competition is now in their own hands with their game against Pau.

"Pau are not going to be easy so we just have to regroup on Monday and just figure out the areas of our game they may come at," he said.

Blackadder said he thought Fruean had been 'superb'.

"It was just good to see him out there with the ball looking for work and just really crashing it up.

"It just shows you, he's a big man but he can just give us that go-forward and you can see the difference it makes, so I though he was great in his first outing," he said.