With leukaemia in remission, inspirational Lealiifano returns for Super Rugby playoff
Christian Lealiifano will make his long-awaited return for the Brumbies after being named in the 23 for Friday’s clash with the Hurricanes.
The playmaker, who has won 19 Test caps for the Wallabies, was named on the bench on Tuesday for the Brumbies’quarterfinall against the reigning Super Rugby champions at Canberra Stadium.
The popular 29-year-old was told in February that his leukaemia was in remission after he had undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from his sister late last year.
“It would be a gamble if I thought he wasn’t right to play,” Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said on Monday.
“But the way that he’s trained with the team over the last three months gives me a fair indication that he’s ready to play.”
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Christian Lealiifano
Date: Friday, July 21
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19:35 local (09:35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry, Will Houston
TMO: Ian Smith