Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies runs out at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies runs out at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Brumbies star primed after inspirational cancer fight

Christian Lealiifano says he's feeling as fit as he was before his battle with leukaemia and can give more value to the Brumbies in the upcoming Super Rugby campaign.

The Wallabies playmaker received a bone marrow transplant in October 2016 and resumed playing on a regular basis with Irish side Ulster in the 2017-18 season.

He played almost all of the Brumbies 2018 Super Rugby campaign and returned to Australia on Christmas Eve, the day after playing his last match in a stint with Japanese club Toyota Jido Shokki.

"It was something that we were a bit nervous about going over off back to back seasons," Lealiifano said.

"They managed me well over there and they were monitoring me from here.

"That probably worked out as best as it could, I've come back feeling really refreshed."

The 31-year-old five-eighth feels he now has the right balance in his workload.

"Coming back, having those two seasons, one in the UK, and then back in Super, there was a lot of tweaking of what works and what can work for me and help me feel as good as I can," he said.

"I feel like we've got that balance right now and they are monitoring my load and continually pushing me.

"But I'm coping with a lot of the fitness a lot better and running out with the boys, so I can definitely add a bit more value, so I'm excited about the season ahead."

 

Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies poses for a portrait with his family at Allianz Stadium.
Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies poses for a portrait with his family at Allianz Stadium.

He admitted he might have been a bit vulnerable in defence in the last Super season as he was still a little light in his weight.

"I've been working hard to try and put a little bit more on to be able to cope," Lealiifano said.

"I think it's just about getting my technique right and being able to... cope with the rigours, the physicality of Super Rugby."

He's due to see specialists late this month and hopes he will be told he is cancer free.

"To get that recognition or clearance would be really, really special," he said.

'To look back on the last couple of years and the journey that I've had to be where I am today, would be absolutely special."

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