Lealiifano rules himself out of Wallabies consideration
CHRISTIAN Lealiifano is feeling refreshed after an enforced rest, but the star Brumbies playmaker has ruled himself out of featuring in the Wallabies' June Tests.
The 30-year-old sat out the last two Super Rugby games as he manages himself following a life-threatening fight with leukaemia.
He was diagnosed in August 2016, recovered to play for the Brumbies in last year's Super Rugby quarter-final and then immediately headed to Ireland to play for Ulster in the Pro 14 competition.
Lealiifano admitted watching his team lose against the Jaguares and Crusaders while he was resting on the sidelines was difficult, but knew it was the best thing for him long-term.
"When I stepped back and looked at my health and saw the specialists a bit more, they made me more aware of when I will be tired," Lealiifano said on Friday.
"(The doctors said) I'm on a one-year-old blood system running around in a 30-year-old's body and trying to play at a high level.
"It was a big decision from Dan (McKellar) to give me a break but I'm grateful for that and thinking about my health first."
Lealiifano might not have been playing, but he was still pushing hard in training.
The club put together a tailored program for him so he could tackle the last seven games of the Super Rugby season.
But Lealiifano won't be adding to his 19 matches for the Wallabies when they host Ireland next month in a three-match Test series.
Although he conceded he still has aspirations to represent Australia when the time is right.
"I think it's (the June Tests) a stretch too far," Lealiifano said.
"Coming back and playing here (for the Brumbies) has been a bonus for me already and I wouldn't quite put myself in a position to say I'm close to getting picked."