Wellington - Centre Robbie Fruean, who has defied a chronic heart condition to play Super Rugby for three New Zealand teams, has lost his contract with the Chiefs to make way for code-hopping star Sonny Bill Williams.
In spite of rheumatic fever - which causes inflammation of the heart - and two major operations, Fruean has played for New Zealand at junior level, played provincial rugby for Wellington, Canterbury and Hawke's Bay and Super Rugby for the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Chiefs.
He came close to winning All Blacks selection two years ago before illness intervened.
The Chiefs on Friday announced Fruean will not be contracted next season. Head coach Dave Rennie said Williams's return after two years in rugby league forced the change.