Lealiifano eyes March return

Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:30
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Wallaby centre Christian Lealiifano is working towards returning to full fitness to take on the Waratahs in the Brumbies’ Round Five clash on March 15.

Wallaby centre Christian Lealiifano is working towards returning to full fitness to take on the Waratahs in the Brumbies’ Round Five Super Rugby clash on March 15.

Lealiifano is recovering from ankle surgery he underwent in December and is making steady progress, with his moonboot set to come off on Monday.

"Everything is on track. It's been frustrating, I've been on crutches for a while and I'm itching to get out," Lealiifano told AAP.

Lealiifano first broke his ankle midway through 2012 and enjoyed a breakout season last year, which saw him make his Wallaby debut in the opening Test of the British and Irish Lions series and went on to play in 13 Tests before going under the knife.

The 26-year-old is in a good head space despite the frustrating rehabilitation process, quipping, "You think you'd get some kind of warranty on these kind of things. All the nurses [in December] were like: 'Oh you're back again!"

Brumbies Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher said precautionary measures could keep Lealiifano out until the Round Seven derby against the Melbourne Rebels, but said the Waratahs clash remains the goal.

"That will be the aim. He's very important in our structures," Fisher said.

In Lealiifano's absence, South African recruit Lionel Cronje, fit-again Pat McCabe and Andrew Smith will vie for the No.12 jersey.

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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
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Team P W D L Pts
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Team P W D L Pts
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Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
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Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10