Lealiifano commits to Brumbies for two seasons

Christian Lealiifano has committed to the Brumbies

Brumbies and Wallabies playmaker Christian Lealiifano has agreed a new contract that will keep him playing Super Rugby with the Brumbies for two more seasons.

Lealiifano has been with the Canberra club for his entire Super Rugby career and his new contract will keep him with the club until at least the end of the 2018 season.

The 28-year old is currently the second highest point scorer in Brumbies history with 635 points to his name. He has played 101 matches for the Brumbies, making him the eighth most-capped player in the club’s history.

The Brumbies and Wallabies playmaker made his debut for the Brumbies in 2008 against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Lealiifano first arrived in Canberra from Melbourne as a fresh-faced Australian Schools, Sevens and U21s representative, bursting with potential.

Currently regarded as one of Australia’s best inside backs, Lealiifano debuted for the Wallabies in 2013 against the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane, before going on to feature in The Rugby Championship and spring tour that same year.

Lealiifano said he was pleased to have his future sorted ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

“The Brumbies have shown a lot of faith in me over the last nine years and I’m pleased we have been able to sort everything out so I can stay,” Lealiifano said.

“By 2018 I will have been in Canberra for 12 years, so this is very much home for me. Working with Stephen Larkham I feel like my game has improved, so to have two more years to work this coaching staff and the rest of the playing group is very exciting.

“This year we have a great team and I’m really looking forward to 2016 being a memorable year for the club, starting with our trial matches and round one hit-out against the Hurricanes.

Lealiifano is currently the team’s goal kicker, one of the premier playmakers and regularly leads the way in defence. He was named the Brumbies Best Back in 2015 following his strong performances.

Head Coach Stephen Larkham says he is very happy to have one Lealiifano on board for another two seasons.

“Christian is a leader for this playing group on and off the field,” Larkham said.

“He will go down as one of finest players to have ever represented the Brumbies for many reasons, and we are very happy that he has agreed to stay until at least 2018.”

Brumbies Chief Executive Michael Jones says he is excited Lealiifano has agreed to remain in Canberra.

“Christian’s made his mark on this community in many ways,” Jones said.

“He is always one of the last players off the field after home games because he takes the time to pose for photos with fans and sign autographs.

“Off the field, he regularly gives his time to support community and charity events and is quite often the first player in the squad to congratulate a teammate for their own achievements.”

Making Lealiifano’s overall career tallies more remarkable are the serious injuries he has successfully battled throughout his career.

Multiple shoulder reconstructions, a broken leg and an ankle reconstruction have all come and gone for Lealiifano, who has remarkably lost little of his acceleration and none of his world class ball playing skills despite the blows.

Lealiifano will be a key player for the Brumbies in 2016 as the side looks to bring home the Super Rugby title for the first time since 2004.

The Brumbies first match of the 2016 Super Rugby season is at GIO Stadium against the Hurricanes on Friday, 26 February.

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