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Wallabies Star Christian Lealiifano Diagnosed With Leukaemia

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies runs the ball during the round 15 Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Reds at GIO Stadium on July 1, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Australian rugby is in shock after one of their leading players, Brumbies playmaker Christian Lealiifano was diagnosed with leukaemia, cancer of the blood cells and bone marrow.

Lealiifano, 28, received the diagnosis after a brief illness and is currently undergoing treatment in a Canberra hospital.

Brumbies interim chief executive Phil Thomson released a press statement via Brumbies’ official wesbite after first informing all the club’s players, coaches and staff about Lealiifano’s diagnosis.

“At the moment it’s just a matter of ensuring Christian receives the best care and support he can at this time. He is one of the most respected players within this group and this news has come as a huge shock to all of our players, coaches and staff.

“Everyone knows that Christian is an amazing young man, an important member of this team and of the Canberra community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Christian and his family at this time.”

Among an outpouring of messages of support and sympathy from players and staff around the international rugby community, David Pocock, Lealiifano’s Wallabies and Brumbies teammate tweeted:

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver added his support in a statement from the Rio Olympics. He said the ARU would provide extensive support for the player and his family (via

“We were shocked to receive the news of Christian’s diagnosis yesterday and our thoughts are firmly with him as he begins his treatment.

“Anyone who has ever had any involvement with Christian knows he is an outstanding young man, as well as being an exceptionally talented rugby player.”

New Zealand-born Lealiifano is a new father, celebrating the birth of his son Jeremih in June with his partner, Luga.

Lealiifano has played 117 games for the Brumbies since his debut in 2008, scoring 803 points. He has also played 19 tests for the Wallabies. He is a versatile playmaker comfortable playing at fly-half or second five eight.

Kaal Kaczmarek, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.