Less than three years after the diagnosis of leukemia, Christian Lealiifano is one step closer to fulfilling his dream during the Rugby World Cup.
The Brumbies captain, who had no fatal cancer two years after being diagnosed in August 2016, was called up this weekend for the third Wallabies training camp in Brisbane.
After building up his confidence and strength in every match of the last 14 months – including a stint for Ulster in Ireland – Lealiifano has returned to the form in which he saw the last of his 19 caps win against England in June 2016.
The shape of the five-eighth has been a big reason for the Brumbies to win four of their last five games and climb to the top of the Australian Super Rugby conference.
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There are no guarantees that Lealiifano will make the Wallabies team for the Rugby Championship or the World Cup.
But his admission to the camp is only a reward for the consistency and exemplary behavior of the 31-year-old.
It also comes after Lealiifano considered but did not continue to represent the Samoan sevens team in an attempt to qualify for the Pacific nation during this year's World Cup.
Lealiifano is added to the Wallabies camp by returning player Matt Toomua, who is waiting to make his debut against the Bulls on Friday after receiving an early release from Leicester Tigers, an English premiership outfit .
The Brisbane camp runs from Sunday to Tuesday and Rugby Australia has not made the full list of invited players public.
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Israel Folau will not be involved, as he awaits his sanction for his controversial posts on social media last month.
Rebels and Brumbies players start their two-day camp on Sunday, while Reds and Waratahs players gather on Monday after bumping into each other at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Monitoring fitness levels will be an important part of the camp, with its stand-in strength and conditioning coach Dean Benton to be closely involved.
Recently appointed director of rugby Scott Johnson and independent selector Michael O & # 39; Connor are expected to be present at the camp.
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