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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020

Australia star Christian Lealiifano ready for Super Rugby return after leukaemia diagnosis

The Wallaby playmaker looks set to feature when the Hurricanes visit Canberra on Friday.

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano
Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano
Image: Mark Nolan

BRUMBIES CO-CAPTAIN and Australia centre Christian Lealiifano is “ready to play” a Super Rugby fixture for the first time since he was diagnosed with leukaemia last August.

The Wallaby underwent a bone marrow transplant before being declared in remission in February this year.

The Brumbies will play the Hurricanes in Friday’s quarter-final, having topped the Australian Conference, but they are without a win against New Zealand opposition since a 52-10 victory over the Wellington club at the very start of last season.

With the odds stacked against him, coach Stephen Larkham does not view the 29-year-old’s possible return in Canberra as a risk. Indeed, the coach had hoped to field Lealiifano a fortnight ago against the Reds, but the playmaker’s comeback was delayed by a hamstring strain.

“It would be a gamble if I thought he wasn’t right to play so we’ll wait and make that assessment after we see how he trains,” Larkham said before his centre got through today’s session unscathed.

“We’ll name the team Tuesday but the way he’s trained within the team over the last three months gives me a fair indication that he’s ready to play.”

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