Christian Leali’ifano will make his long-awaited Super Rugby return in the Brumbies’ quarterfinal against the Hurricanes just 10 months after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Leali’ifano has been included on the bench for Friday night’s clash at GIO Stadium, the playmaker having made a return to action last month against the Asia Pacific Dragons in Singapore.
Leali’ifano’s return is a major boost for the Brumbies who were well beaten by the Chiefs in Hamilton last weekend. But the ACT side have welcomed back a host of players who were rested last week, with skipper Sam Carter and fellow Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani, Scott Sio, Alan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold and Joe Powell all returning to the starting side.
The Brumbies secured a home final by winning the Australian conference after just six wins in the regular season; the Hurricanes finished second in the New Zealand conference with 12 victories.
Brumbies: Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Andrew Smith, James Dargaville, Wharenui Hawera, Joe Powell, Jordan Smiler, Chris Alcock, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Josh Mann-Rea, Scott Sio. Reserves: Robbie Abel, Ben Alexander, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Blake Enever, Jarrad Butler, Tomas Cubelli, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Christian Lealiifano.