Lealiifano 'ready to rumble' says record breaker Benny

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

Christian Lealiifano is "ready to rumble" ahead of the Brumbies' Super Rugby finals campaign, says long-time teammate Ben Alexander.

The star playmaker made an incredible comeback for the Brumbies in an exhibition match in Singapore, less than a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

He was slick in his return and appears to be in excellent shape, sparking hopes he could figure in the remainder of the ACT-based franchise's season.

"I think if you watched that Singapore game you'd say he's ready to rumble," Alexander, who will break George Smith's Aussie Super Rugby record of 142 games if he gets on the field against the Queensland Reds next Friday night, said.
"Obviously selection's up to (coach) Bernie (coach Stephen Larkham) and whether Bruzzie's feeling it you'd have to ask him.

"But I know he'd be welcomed backed with open arms, not just by us, by the whole of world rugby."

Alexander, who has played alongside Lealiifano at the Brumbies for almost a decade, said the way the 19-Test Wallaby had approached his illness had shown he was an "incredible person".

"Regardless of footy we all know what he faced is massive," Alexander said.

"His attitude to the whole thing, he's never sought pity.

"He's just kept an absolute smile on his face the whole time. It's unbelievable." - Ben Alexander

Alexander said Lealiifano's road back from a bone marrow transplant had given the team perspective on life.

"Personally, for a long time in my career I would kick stones for a long time and not get over little obstacles," Alexander said.

"Whereas he's faced a proper obstacle in his life and he's overcome it. It's just unreal to have him back."

With two regular season matches remaining before they host a final in Canberra, Lealiifano could get the chance to prove he is ready to help their bid for a Super Rugby title.

"Christian's name will certainly come up when it comes time to pick the team," assistant coach Dan McKellar, who will take over as head coach next year, said.

The 32-year-old Alexander will remain at the club in 2018 after signing a one-year deal to stay in Canberra.

"BA was playing well before he got injured so I'm sure he'll be there or thereabouts," McKellar said.

Alexander, who has 72 Wallabies caps, is confident his 10th Super Rugby season won't be his last.

"I've got a few years left," he said.

"I'm just trying to keep up with Josh Mann-Rea at the moment. He's four years older than me and if he keeps going I've got no excuse to hang up the boots."

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