RUGBY BRUMBIES HURRICANESA refreshed Christian Lealiifano says he’s as close to 100 per cent health as he can be, as doctors continue to monitor the leukaemia which threatened his life.
The 30-year-old Brumbies star returned to rugby last year after entering remission earlier in 2017.
He backed up his emotional comeback in the ACT-based side’s quarter-final loss with a successful five-month stint with Irish club Ulster.
Lealiifano said his leukaemia is now in the “monitoring phase” as he prepares to embark on the Super Rugby season.
He is desperate to help the Brumbies snap a 14-year title drought.
“It’s a two-year process and I’m a year-and-a-bit into it now,” Lealiifano said.
“We’ll continue monitoring that and so far, so good. To be able to play footy is something I’m happy with.”
Lealiifano hasn’t returned to the weight he was before he was struck by the illness, which forced him to undergo a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy.
“I don’t think I want to get to that weight again. I’m feeling a bit fitter and a bit more agile playing at the weight I am now,” he said.
Cancer changed his body, as well as his perspectives on life and sport.
But it didn’t sap motivation from the inspirational playmaker, who boasts 19 Wallabies caps.
“I’m looking at it now that I don’t have many years left in me,” Lealiifano said.
“I’ve been around for 10 years and haven’t tasted success here.
“For me, it’s about enjoying each moment but really striving towards achieving a bit of success.”
Lealiifano impressed in 16 appearances for Ulster, boosting Brumbies coach Dan McKellar’s confidence he has returned to his best.
But aside from the on-field benefits, Lealiifano believes the loan spell was mentally valuable to extract himself from the “bubble” of n rugby.