Christian Lealiifano Set To Return For Brumbies After Leukaemia Battle
Christian Lealiifano will make his Super Rugby return in Friday’s quarter-final against the Hurricanes, less than a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
Lealiifano, who has played 19 Tests for the Wallabies, has been named on the bench for the Brumbies’ quarter-final against the reigning Super Rugby champions. The back 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,” said Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.
“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; 1 Scott Sio, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Sam Carter (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 7 Chris Alcock, 8 Jordan Smiler.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Axel, 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.