Lealiifano makes emotional return

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:07
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NEWS: Wallaby star Christian Lealiifano has made an emotional return 10 months after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The flyhalf, who has been out of action since his diagnosis in August, made an appearance during the side'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. 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.

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.

Agence France-Presse