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Ulster sign cancer survivor Lealiifano on five-month deal
August 21, 2017 / 11:36 AM / 3 months ago

Ulster sign cancer survivor Lealiifano on five-month deal

(Reuters) - Ulster have signed Australian fly-half Christian Lealiifano from ACT Brumbies on a five-month loan deal as he continues his comeback from leukaemia, the PRO14 side announced on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Christian Lealiifano of Australia lines up a kick at goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Graham Stuart

The 29-year-old’s contract with the Irish club will run until the end of the European Champions Cup pool stages in January. He will then return to Brumbies for the start of the 2018 Super Rugby campaign.

New Zealand-born Lealiifano was diagnosed with leukaemia in August of last year, but recovered to return to action for Brumbies’ quarter-final defeat to Wellington Hurricanes last month.

“I’d like to thank the Brumbies for allowing me to do this stint abroad,” Lealiifano said in a statement.

“I‘m really excited to be joining up with Ulster Rugby and I‘m looking forward to getting out there in front of the supporters at Kingspan Stadium. I can’t wait to experience the rugby and the culture in Belfast.”

Lealiifano has won 19 caps for the Wallabies, with his last appearance coming against England in June last year.

Ulster begin their new PRO14 campaign against South African newcomers Toyota Cheetas on Friday, Sep. 1.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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