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Confirmed: Christian Lealiifano Joins Ulster Rugby On A Short Term Deal


Ulster Rugby has confirmed the signing of Christian Lealiifano on a short-term deal. 

Lealiifano will play for the northern province for five months, with his contract due to expire on the 22nd January 2018. This means that the 29-year-old will return to the Brumbies after Ulster have completed their pool stage fixtures in the Champions Cup.

Lealiifano made his comeback for the Brumbies at the end of the Super Rugby season after recovering from leukaemia, a disease he was diagnosed with 12 months ago.

Ulster, of course, are on the look out for someone who can play at flyhalf with Paddy Jackson currently not available due to an ongoing investigation with the PSNI.

Lealifaano had this to say about his move to Belfast:

“I’d like to thank the Brumbies for allowing me to do this stint abroad. I’m really excited to be joining up with Ulster Rugby and I’m looking forward to getting out there in front of the supporters at Kingspan Stadium. I can’t wait to experience the rugby and the culture in Belfast.”

Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, is excited about Lealiifano coming on board.

“This is a massive boost for us as we approach the start of the season. It was paramount that we signed an experienced player to give us another option at flyhalf and this is a fantastic solution for us.

“Christian has the playing talent, the leadership ability and the personality to make a big impact here. He has overcome significant challenges in his career and that is testament to his bravery and strong character.

“He’s a proven leader and we’re excited by the influence that he’ll have on our young flyhalves Peter Nelson, Brett Herron, Johnny McPhillips and Callum Smith. We also have two exciting players in our Academy, Michael Lowry and Angus Curtis, who will also have a fantastic opportunity to learn from Christian.

“From speaking to Christian, I know that he is very excited by the challenge and is looking forward to joining up with us soon.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter