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Wallaby star makes emotional return 10 months after he was diagnosed with leukaemia

Christian Lealiifano made 19 appearances for Australia before being diagnosed with cancer.

Image: David Davies

WALLABY STAR CHRISTIAN Lealiifano has made an emotional return to rugby 10 months after he was diagnosed with leukaemia, his ACT Brumbies club said on Friday.

The fly-half, who has been out of action since his diagnosis in August, made an appearance during the club’s exhibition match against the Asia Pacific Dragons in Singapore on Thursday.

Lealiifano, 29, kicked five conversions for a 10-point contribution, playing for 30 minutes in their 61-14 victory in what is seen as a major step towards a full recovery.

“It was fantastic to get back onto the field and play some rugby after such a long lay-off,” Lealiifano said.

“This is another step in the recovery process and it felt good to be on the field and fully involved again.

“I am concentrating totally on my recovery and my rugby at the moment and my focus is on helping the team and trying to get back to full health and my best as a rugby player.”

Lealiifano said his battle with leukaemia was “an ongoing process” and he was “mindful of taking each day as it comes”.

New Zealand-born Lealiifano, who has played 19 Tests for Australia, was diagnosed with the cancer that affects the blood and had a bone-marrow transplant operation after a successful match with his sister.

© – AFP 2017

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