Brother knows Christian's pain
Christian Lealiifano has been backed to recover from an ankle injury by his brother, who has suffered an identical problem. Photo: Getty Images
When Brumbies playmaker Christian Lealiifano fell to the Canberra Stadium turf in agony a fortnight ago, the heart of his older brother Lix sank further than most.
And the Tuggeranong stalwart will provide a welcome sounding board for his more celebrated sibling after also breaking his ankle three years ago.
The 26-year-old knows through experience the mental battle Christian faces after his horrific injury late in the win over the Waratahs.
''I was unsure at first what the injury was, then my other brother [Eddie] told us it was a broken ankle,'' Lealiifano said yesterday.
''I had the exact same break back in 2009.''
Lix watched the Brumbies-Hurricanes match last night with his couch-bound brother.
Today he will be one of the crucial figures when the Vikings attempt to keep their unbeaten run intact in the top-of-the-table clash with Wests. Outside centre Lix will play his second first grade match of the year after suffering a groin injury earlier in the season.
Their brotherhood is tighter than most, but on the football field they're chalk and cheese.
While Christian has made a name for himself as a creative ball player this year, Lix is a dynamic ball runner renowned for his aggression in defence.
They played in the same junior sides for Melbourne's Northcote club, despite Christian being 1½ years younger.
Lix said Christian was always the standout in the clan who had the talent and drive to play at the highest level.
''My motivation for training was never the same as Christian's,'' Lix said.
Tuggeranong has won its first four matches and outscored its opponents by a total of 167 points.
Coach McKellar is looking forward to Lealiifano returning to the line-up after missing a handful of games with a groin injury.
''Like Christian, Lix is a very composed footballer, and one thing he's brought to our team has been a bit of calmness and leadership,'' McKellar said.